The American Library Association’s policy statement on library services to the poor states that “it is crucial that libraries recognize their role in enabling poor people to participate fully in a democratic society, by utilizing a wide variety of available resources and strategies.” The Palm Beach County Library System embodies this idea on a daily basis as we strive to achieve our mission to “connect communities, inspire, thought, and enrich lives.” In addition to giving residents free access to a world of information and educational content through events and workshops, books, films, and electronic resources, we also tackle the issue of the digital divide. Through access to computers, free wifi (inside and outside our buildings), mobile hotpots that can be borrowed, and advanced video and audio content production tools, we work diligently to equalize the playing field when it comes to technology. Over the last few years, the Library has also become a place where Palm Beach County residents who are struggling financially can seek relief. In collaboration with various County Departments as well as non-profits, families can apply for SNAP & veteran benefits, seek help in applying for rental and energy assistance, and can receive free nutritious meals during the summer months. The Palm Beach County Library System is poised and ready to respond to community needs as they arise, and to continue offering the same great services, collections, and events that Palm Beach County has come to enjoy.
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