Transforming Network Infrastructure Industry News

TMCNet:  American Library Association Highlights Library and Community Impacts from Broadband Technology Opportunities Program in New Report

[May 12, 2013]

American Library Association Highlights Library and Community Impacts from Broadband Technology Opportunities Program in New Report

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CHICAGO, May 4 -- The American Library Association issued the following news release: Thursday, the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy released "U.S. Public Libraries and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program," a new report that details U.S. library engagement with the federal program.http://www.scribd.com/doc/138899219/U-S-Public-Libraries-and-the-Broadband-Technology-Opportunities-Program-May-2013 The report is the first to highlight state and local library BTOP projects nationwide and the improvements they have made to public access technology resources, digital literacy and workforce development. Library projects in 29 states and the District of Columbia are featured in the report. ALA estimates about 20 percent of U.S. public libraries have benefited from BTOP funding.

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded just over $4 billion to 233 BTOP projects. The NTIA established BTOP to increase broadband access and adoption nationwide, and U.S. state and public libraries have been critical partners in this effort.

"Libraries have served as first responders in these tough economic times," said ALA President Maureen Sullivan. "Millions of Americans have turned to us to gain new technology skills and access to specialized resources. BTOP has helped to enable expanded services and to develop the improved infrastructure to meet these community needs." Highlights from the report: * Nearly all statewide library projects included digital literacy training. More than 367,000 Coloradans increased their digital literacy skills through that state's BTOP project. Ninety-five percent of those who took formal classes in Colorado stated they learned a valuable skill and would recommend the classes to others.

* Nearly 600 people who participated in New York State Library's "Broadband Express @ your library" programs and used online job resources went on to secure employment.

* The Nebraska Library Commission has more than doubled its grant goal (45 libraries) for upgrading broadband speeds in this mostly rural state. Of the 101 libraries upgraded so far, the average speed moved from 2.9 Mbps to 21.4 Mbps.

* Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have established new videoconferencing capabilities in several, if not all, libraries in their states. The Maine State Library is deploying its statewide network to provide legal information clinics through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. The clinics are offered in real time, allowing patrons at multiple locations, and especially in rural locations, to attend and ask questions directly of the presenting attorney.

Recent research from the Pew Internet Project finds that the availability of free computers and Internet access (including Wi-Fi) now rivals book lending as a vital library service. In a national survey of Americans ages 16 and older, 77 percent say free access to computers and the Internet is a "very important service" of libraries, while 80 percent say the same for borrowing books. As 62 percent of libraries report being the only source of free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities, the critical role libraries play in their communities is amplified.

"With more than 16,400 locations providing public access to computers and the Internet, libraries combine technology infrastructure, trained staff and relevant digital content to support digital opportunity," said Larra Clark, director of the ALA's Program on Networks. "BTOP's strategic investments and partnerships must continue to be leveraged and broadened to truly transform our libraries and communities." TNS CT21CT-130507-4334412 61ChengTacorda (c) 2013 Targeted News Service

[ Back To Transforming Network Infrastructure's Homepage ]




Featured Blog Entries

Reflections from an Interop Veteran and Alum

When I returned to the Fiber Mountain™ offices in Connecticut after exhibiting at Interop Las Vegas 2015, I couldn’t help but think about how much the event has evolved through the years. I have been attending this seminal IT and networking conference since its inception in 1986 when it was called the TCP/IP Vendor Workshop, focused on interoperability of various TCP/IP program stacks.

What Fiber Mountain's Interop Recognition Means for Our Industry

When Fiber Mountain™ began its journey with a launch at Interop New York last fall, we certainly believed that we had a solution that would make a significant impact in the data center space.

What On-Board Optics Means for Density and Flexibility

This past week I read an article in Lightwave Magazine and another in Network World about the formation of the Consortium for On-board Optics (COBO), a group that seeks to create specifications and increase the faceplate density of data center switches and adapters.

Scaling Hyperscale in an Age of Exponential Growth and Virtualization

Over the past several years server, network, storage and application virtualization has revolutionized the way hyperscale data centers are built by consolidating workloads. The trend has simplified network architecture significantly and resulted in huge cost savings as well.

Video Showcase