This week, Capitol Hill celebrated the E-rate’s 10th anniversary! A number of policymakers expressed their support for the program, which has helped libraries achieve nearly 100% connectivity.
“The success of the E-Rate Program has undoubtedly touched the lives of many Americans and helped bridge the technological gap in classrooms and libraries throughout the country,” said Senator Olympia Snowe. “In libraries throughout my home state of Maine, the E-Rate program has opened many doors for residents who enjoy exploring the vast possibilities of the Internet in a community setting. I am proud to be involved with such a worthwhile project that not only improves the resources of our students, but helps to strengthen the bonds of our communities.”
Linda Lord, Deputy State Librarian of Maine and current Chairperson of the ALA E-rate Task Force, was a featured speaker at a panel on Capitol Hill. Linda spoke eloquently about the role E-rate has played in her state and across the country.
“The E-rate saved us. Every major initiative we have rides on us being connected and our connectivity rides on the E-rate,” she said, speaking of the Maine Schools and Libraries Network.
The Education and Libraries Networks Coalition (EdLiNC) and the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) also released a report containing profiles of E-rate recipients across the country. The report, entitled “E-rate: 10 Years of Connecting Kids and Community” is available for download here (PDF).