October 1, 2014

CPL, NYPL WiFi Hotspot Lending Programs Funded by Knight Foundation Grants

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In an effort to address the lack of broadband access among low-income residents, the Chicago Public Library (CPL), and New York Public Library (NYPL) on June 23 announced new programs that will allow patrons to check out and take home wifi hotspots. NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet,” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” programs are made possible, in part, by grants awarded this week by the Knight News Challenge, a competition developed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Mozilla, to fund and promote projects committed to making the Internet an open, equitable platform.

IMLS Holds Hearing on the Need for Broadband in Libraries

IMLS hearing on broadband access in public libraries at DC's Martin Luther King Jr. branch

Though broadband Internet access has become more common in U.S. households during the past decade, the digital divide has not yet been bridged. In fact, challenges now loom larger than ever for households without broadband, said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Chief Librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) during his opening remarks at the “Libraries and Broadband: Urgency and Impact,” public hearing hosted by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on April 17. According to IMLS estimates, about 100 million Americans don’t have access to high-speed Internet at home, while 19 million don’t have any Internet access at home.

ConnectED Will Bring Faster Connections to Schools and Libraries | The Next Big Thing

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What could your library do with gigabit broadband? If you don’t have a list of innovative ways to use an Internet connection 10 or 100 times faster than the current norm, start making it now.

ALA Highlights Benefits of Federal Broadband Funding, Argues that E-Rate Must Be Enhanced to Sustain Progress

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s $4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) has helped about 20 percent of U.S. libraries make improvements to publicly available technology resources and digital literacy within their communities, according to a report released on Monday by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).

ISTE Calls on Obama to Support Broadband for Education

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The International Society for Technology in Education has initiated an online petition urging the White House to take action to invest in school broadband connectivity to bridge the digital divide in education.

Schools Can Assess their Connectivity on the Nonprofit Site Education SuperHighway

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All the tech programming in the world means nothing without the adequate infrastructure to support it. Now anyone—from teachers, administrators and librarians to students—can log on to the site Education Superhighway and have their school’s connection speed analyzed within minutes.

Libraries to Play Key Role in Puerto Rico Broadband Plan

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In conjunction with Connect Puerto Rico, a subsidiary of non-profit Connected Nation, the Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce (PRBT) has released a strategic planto enhance the island’s broadband infrastructure and improve digital literacy among its residents. Libraries and public computing centers are expected to play an important role.

National Rural Education Tech Summit Set for April 30

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The first-ever virtual event will take place Monday, April 30 from 12 to 6 pm EDT.