Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington Office, today participated in an Urban Libraries Council teleseminar on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Listen to the event here.
Sheketoff shared how libraries benefit from the legislation and counseled the participants on how to prepare for the government’s release of the guidelines for broadband funding. She encouraged them to reach out to potential partners, such as other libraries, telecommunication companies and local governments, so that they can create a strong, aggregated grant proposal.
She also mentioned that many groups, including the ALA, have filed comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) asking that public libraries get fully funded for broadband connectivity. The funding can be used for education, awareness, training and equipment. Since libraries serve everyone, having adequate bandwidth in every library would ensure every community has it as well, Sheketoff said.
Also participating in the call was Ginnie Cooper, director of the DC Public Library System, who discussed how she is working with the DC government and has a proposal that includes computer training for the public.