South Bend Launches Digital Inclusion Center

Published Tuesday, August 21, 2018

As part of a broader effort toward digital inclusion, the City of South Bend, St. Joseph County Public Library (SJCPL), and St. Joe Valley Metronet have partnered to launch a Center for Learning, Information, Connectivity, and Knowledge (CLICK) at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.

The sites will be equipped with high-speed Internet, public Wi-Fi, up-to-date laptop and desktop computers, and copying, faxing, scanning, and printing services. Furthermore, programming at the centers will focus on empowering residents to gain the technology and digital literacy skills demanded by the modern age.

“Educational and economic empowerment requires high quality access to the Internet and technology for residents. The CLICK at MLK will connect residents to digital resources and aligns with our efforts to make access to the Internet a core element of equity in the 21st century,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“St. Joe Valley Metronet has been connecting area businesses, schools, and governmental and medical institutions to their full potential for more than a dozen years. We’re proud to partner with the City and Library to bring the advantages of our virtually unlimited connectivity to the center’s new computer lab,” said SJVM CEO Mary Jan Hedman. “Internet access is a necessity. This partnership—and this center—will provide the broadband needed to educate, engage and entertain all of the community’s residents.”

“We are truly stronger when we work together." SJCPL Executive Director Debra Futa says, "The St. Joseph County Public Library is proud to partner with the City of South Bend and St. Joe Valley Metronet to make CLICK SB a reality. The Library has been working to provide digital access and digital literacy training for decades. The site brings library resources out into our neighborhoods, providing access to the areas that need it the most. CLICK SB will make a huge impact on our community by eliminating barriers so that every person can meet their personal and professional goals.”

SJCPL, the City, and Metronet will each play a role in the site’s creation and operation. SJCPL will provide equipment, software, and tech support; the City will furnish space and allocate staff; and Metronet will install the infrastructure and provide high speed connectivity to the center. Together SJCPL, the City, and Metronet will evaluate the success of the site as plans develop for more locations throughout the city.