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Information Resources Column: "The Digital Divide: How Wide and How Deep?

Author(s): Schloman, B

Journal: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
ISSN 1091-3734

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: digital divide | information inequality | Internet access

The complexity of the issues that make up the digital divide problem is better understood today. It is no longer sufficient to see it simply as a disparity of access to computer technology. Rather, there is recognition that having meaningful support for using the technology is also an essential ingredient for getting online. The digital divide is a global problem, but even in the technology rich United States the situation is troubling. Recent studies have shown that within the United States, public libraries play a key role in helping the digitally disadvantaged get connected to the Internet and learn how to use it to serve their needs. As more individuals are connected online, those who are not, however, are increasingly in danger for becoming more marginalized within society. Health care professionals need to be aware that they may well be working with individuals who are increasingly outside of the mainstream of the digital revolution and who cannot take advantage of Internet resources that could positively impact their health.
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