Libraries were well represented in the 66 BTOP and BIP awards that the White House announced today. Several libraries were named as grantees, and a number of the awards include libraries as key components of the projects.
“It is tremendously satisfying to see libraries receive badly needed support for improving their broadband connectivity,” said Dr. Alan Inouye, director of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). “ALA and others invested a lot in advocacy and education for the library community in the past year, and we’re pleased that our efforts helped to lead to a beneficial outcome for the library community.”
Projects with significant library-specific benefits include those based in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. Additional projects benefit community anchor institutions generally, which include libraries. In particular, the award to create the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) is expected to benefit many libraries. Other projects improve broadband infrastructure in particular geographic areas, which benefit everyone, including libraries, in those areas.
“Many libraries will be able to improve their technological capabilities,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office. “Such capabilities are essential to support patrons’ use of libraries for job searches, skills improvement, access to government resources and services, and schoolwork.”
Broadband is the new critical infrastructure for the 21st century, and ALA initiatives to promote BTOP and BIP and beyond will continue.
“ALA is engaged on many of the issues in the National Broadband Plan,” said Marijke Visser, OITP information technology policy analyst. “Currently, we are focused on the FCC’s initiative to reform the federal E-rate program, which is critical for the long-term sustainability of BTOP and BIP investments in the library community.”
View the White House announcement at:
View the list of awards at:
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