READING, Pa. - For Reading residents who want a COVID-19 vaccine but don't have internet access to schedule an appointment, help isn't far away.
Mayor Eddie Moran said Tuesday that all four of Reading's public libraries are open and ready to assist people with going online.
"COVID-19 has changed many residents' way of life and has been very challenging for those not familiar with technology," Moran said. "All four library branches have computers, internet Wi-Fi connection, along with bilingual assistance."
The Reading Public Library's executive director, Bronwen Gamble, echoed the mayor's sentiments, noting that assisting people with online access is nothing new for her employees and that they're more than happy to help.
"We know that not all of the websites, or even the state portal, is in Spanish or any other language," Gamble said.
One of those website's is the Pennsylvania's "Your Turn" tool, which helps people figure out whether they're eligible to receive the vaccine right now or if they have to wait.
But Gamble said other groups are also at a disadvantage, including those who don't have access to internet.
"There's a digital divide," she said, "and we know not everybody has a device or they don't have a data plan, and that's something that we do have and we're willing to share."
Anyone who needs help can visit one of the library's four branches for free access so they can try to register for the vaccine at one of the approved locations, which isn't always an easy task.
"We can't guarantee it, because we know it's just been crazy, that the demand far exceeds the supply," Gamble said, "but we will do our best to help."
The RPL's locations and hours are as follows:
|100 S. 5th St.|
|Monday and Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.|
|901 Schuylkill Ave.|
|Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.|
|Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.|
|1348 N. 11th St.|
|Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.|
|Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.|
|1426 Perkiomen Ave.|
|Monday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.|
In a statement to 69 News, Maggi Mumma, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said the DOH is looking to launch an update to the Your Turn tool in Spanish, German, and Chinese/Mandarin as early as next week.