The American Library Association (ALA) welcomes today’s remarks of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Genachowski on the modernization of the Lifeline and Linkup programs. The Chairman underscored the Commission’s continued commitment to digital literacy training in order to bolster broadband adoption in the United States.
The ALA filed ex parte comments with the FCC in December 2011 encouraging the Commission to consider using the Lifeline and Linkup programs to support digital literacy training. To help transition these programs from telephony to broadband, digital literacy is essential.
America’s libraries are uniquely positioned to help shape digital literacy initiatives.
“Libraries are community technology hubs, bringing together public access to computers and the Internet with expert staff equipped to address the full range of literacies from basic reading to social media and content creation” said Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the ALA’s Washington Office.
“Librarians are experienced in designing programs to meet the needs of specific populations such as seniors or non-English speakers and creating specialized programs such as workforce development and e-government.”
In addition, libraries are situated in communities across the country and open to all — regardless of socioeconomic status or age.
We thank the Chairman and his staff for recognizing the important role of libraries in our communities and look forward to responding to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to assist in shaping this important initiative.