• The digital divide at its heart is a social divide. The two share many of the same fault lines. If we look just at the digital divide’s technological face, we see that “computer use is related to race and ethnicity, educational attainment, gender, basic household composition, and, most dramatically, income.” (Bishop, et al., 1999, page 363). Public libraries, as part of its esprit de corps, are already doing much to help connect disadvantaged groups to the infosphere, including providing information that is health-related and life-saving. (Cabello and Butler, 2017) In the absence of a universal basic income and a strong education system in the US and UK, libraries are taking the lead.

    The aim of librarians is not to eradicate the digital divide but to mitigate its effects, (Van Dijk, 2020) and to give libraries the tools to do so. This essay will explore reasons for the digital divide in the US and the UK and consider approaches to remedy it. Like most research, there are many instances here supporting correlation over causation. What emerges again and again in the research are the fault lines aforementioned. From this list of factors, we will pay particular attention to age as a guide post in the digital divide and look at how resources, or lack thereof, play a role in the digital divide.