The American Library Association (ALA) welcomes today’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Order (pdf) voted on by the Commission that will reform the Lifeline program. ALA has been monitoring this proceeding and is pleased to note that the Commission will be issuing a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) to address the need for digital literacy training in libraries and schools as part of Chairman Genachowski’s ongoing broadband adoption initiatives.
“The Chairman today echoed the sentiment of librarians serving communities across the country when he said digital literacy training will help more Americans participate fully in our 21st century economy and society,” said Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the ALA’s Washington Office.
“Librarians are skilled at developing digital literacy programs that meet the specific needs of their communities – whether rural and remote, or urban – and are trained to assess the skill level of the person coming into the library so that she or he gets the most out of the class.”
It is ALA’s understanding that funding for the digital literacy training will be realized by the reforms to Lifeline, and ALA supports this additional and necessary infusion of funds into libraries and schools to bolster their capacity to provide digital literacy training to their communities. ALA looks forward to the opportunity to respond to specific questions in the FNPRM to help determine the most effective and efficient way to ensure the success of the Commission’s proposal.
ALA thanks the Chairman for his continued recognition of the key role libraries play in supporting a digitally literate society.