Bridging the Digital Divide: Dr. Dane Dell’s Mission to Provide Equitable Access to Technology

Director of Information Systems for Onondaga County Public Library System, Dr. Dane Dell, strives to bridge the digital divide and promote equitable access to technology.

Growing up in the Bronx, Dr. Dane Dell was always fascinated by technology and its potential to improve lives. From his early experiences with computers and the Internet, to witnessing the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Dell’s passion for technology has only grown. Now, as a father of two young children, he is amazed at how effortlessly they navigate and embrace new technology. However, Dell is also acutely aware of the need to foster a healthy relationship with technology and ensure equitable access for all. As the director of information systems for the Onondaga County Public Library System in New York, he is on a mission to bridge the digital divide and provide his community with equal opportunities for information and communication technology.

A Social Justice Issue:

According to Dell, the digital divide is not just a technological concern but also a social justice issue. He believes that affordable internet access should be treated as a utility, akin to electricity or water. Recognizing the impact of technology on people’s lives, Dell emphasizes the importance of providing equitable access to computers and the internet. Having grown up in Jamaica, a third-world country, he witnessed firsthand how access to technology can significantly improve the quality of life and educational opportunities. Dell strives to address this issue by advocating for affordable internet access and implementing projects that enhance computer literacy and information accessibility.

Leading the Onondaga County Public Library System:

Since joining the Onondaga County libraries in 2018, Dell has been responsible for overseeing the enterprise system connecting all 32 libraries in the county. In his role as the director of information systems, he also supervises the IT staff that manages the technology infrastructure of the City of Syracuse libraries. Dell actively seeks out and manages projects aimed at improving computer literacy and information access, recognizing their potential to uplift impoverished communities. His focus on community development and bridging the digital divide aligns with his personal experiences and commitment to social justice.

A Background in Technology and Psychology:

Dell’s journey towards bridging the digital divide began during his college years. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a bachelor’s degree in information technology and psychology. Throughout his studies, he dedicated himself to understanding the issues surrounding the digital divide and finding ways to help communities lacking access to technology. Additionally, Dell explored the successes and failures of large-scale information system projects, further deepening his understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this field.

A Passion for Teaching and Mentorship:

Before his current role, Dell served as a coding instructor and presenter for various programs and conferences focused on promoting STEM education and diversity. He also taught technology courses at Syracuse’s iSchool, sharing his knowledge and passion for technology with aspiring students. Dell encourages students to network, attend job fairs, and reach out to alumni to gain exposure and explore the vast opportunities within the IT field. He believes that through exposure and building relationships, students can find their niche and contribute to bridging the digital divide.

Conclusion:

Dr. Dane Dell’s dedication to bridging the digital divide and promoting equitable access to technology is rooted in his personal experiences and commitment to social justice. As the director of information systems for the Onondaga County Public Library System, he strives to provide his community with the tools and resources necessary to thrive in the digital age. Dell’s advocacy for affordable internet access and projects aimed at improving computer literacy are instrumental in creating a more equitable society. Through his work and passion, he is shaping a future where technology is accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds.

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