Providence Public Library receives $100K grant from Verizon to support digital programming

PROVIDENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY has received a $100,000 grant from Verizon Communications Inc. to help support the library's digital literacy and equity programming. / PBN PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE

PROVIDENCE – Providence Public Library and its programming will be getting a large monetary boost, thanks to its technology neighbor residing across the street on Washington Street.

The library has received a $100,000 grant from Verizon Communications Inc. that will help expand the library’s programs and services in order to support digital literacy and equity for all Rhode Islanders, Providence Public Library announced Thursday. The grant is the largest that Verizon has issued for any initiative in Rhode Island.

Providence Public Library Education Director Karisa Tashjian said in a statement the funding will expand the library’s current skills-building programming, such as its Learning Lounge, Digital Literacy Corps and Technology Pathway. The grant will also help develop new programming efforts, including partnering with Verizon to create a “device-repair program” and local hardware repair training programs to address “current gaps in the availability and accessibility” of these services within underserved populations.

Providence Public Library Executive Director Jack Martin said in a statement the library’s goal, with the grant from Verizon, will be to ensure residents are “prepared with the digital skills for today’s and tomorrow’s economy,” while making the Ocean State the top state for the number of residents “who are digitally literate.”

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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