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ImagineIf Libraries providing tech assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

Imagine IF Tech Connect
Posted at 11:16 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 20:36:38-04

KALISPELL — ImagineIf Libraries in Montana is offering wifi hot spots, iPads, and tablets for people to use.

Senior Librarian Megan Glidden told MTN News that the library started a program called Tech Connect in June to bridge the technology divide.

Gidden says thanks to the program, the ImagineIf libraries in Kalispell, Columbia Falls and Bigfork have about 25 hot spots, tablets -- and soon iPads -- available for people to check out using their library card. She told MTN News that she's hoping to have iPads available for check out by the end of August.

Glidden says many things are going online and some people don't have access to them simply because they don't have the proper technology.

She explained the library had been working on funding the Tech Connect program for a while but put a huge emphasis on the project when COVID-19 hit saying the library thought it was important to supply technology for people working from home.

"I only wish we could have hundreds more devices because it's so important," said Glidden. "Right now, so many offices and businesses are closed with schools starting back up again. Internet and devices are the way that people are connecting through the pandemic when in-person services and opportunities are limited. It's safe."

Glidden says the devices are available for check out for a 14 day period at any of their library locations. However, people will need an ImagineIf Library card to check out the devices.

Funding for 12 of the hot spots came from the Montana State Library.