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This Vancouverite made a free paperback version of the internet for locals facing barriers

The booklet includes online resources and information on getting support in the city.
Vancouver community advocate Spencer Van Vloten made the Vancouver Community Pocketbook to help locals access vital resources without the internet.

The internet has become an integral part of people's everyday lives. Many aspects of the world have shifted online but, still, many people are left behind.

Restricted access to internet resources is a barrier that many individuals face, including seniors who have lower rates of computer literacy and low-income residents.

To combat the divide, Vancouver community advocate Spencer van Vloten made a paperback version of the internet.

"Navigating public systems and community resources can be a headache. There's so much information out there to synthesize. So many of the processes are long and confusing, and it's a challenge to figure it out on your own," he tells V.I.A. 

He notes that many local residents have shared with him their upset over the lack of low-tech resources available to help them find support in their community. 

The Vancouver Community Pocketbook is a handheld copy of online resources and information on getting support in the city. The 109-page booklet includes contact information, answers questions, and has a toolkit outlining government services, employment basics, as well as tenants' and human rights. 

On top of making these vital resources accessible, the book is also free.

Anyone who needs it can pick up a copy at local organizations working with low-income folk, seniors, newcomers, women fleeing abuse, and people with disabilities. 

Van Vloten spent a total of three years putting together the pocketbook but his efforts don't stop now that the book is published. He plans to continuously add to and refine the book to keep up with the internet's fast pace, and to release an updated version of the pocketbook each year.

So far over 1,000 copies have been distributed across Vancouver and the feedback is "very good," according to van Vloten.

"People are just impressed with how extensive it is and how it really touches on any issue that you could want help with," he notes. "We've gotten so used to finding everything online that print resources are almost innovative or new again."