When the ALA filed its comments with the Federal Communications Commission advocating for libraries in the E-rate program, broadband data from past ALA and University of Maryland Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) research was a centerpiece. Thanks to these studies, ALA is able to clearly show that the average library broadband is roughly on par with the average U.S. home–and that’s not good!
Now the Digital Inclusion Survey will allow us to update our understanding of library connectivity, and, even more importantly, what that connectivity is enabling for our communities in relation to digital literacy, economic and workforce development, civic engagement and more. But this doesn’t happen without public library staff participation in the survey. The survey team (which includes iPAC, ALA OITP, the ALA Office for Research and Statistics, the International City/County Management Association) has extended the deadline for participation to November 22.
If your library hasn’t shared its data yet, please log on now–and pass the word to your colleagues. State-level data analysis is only possible if a majority of libraries of all sizes participate.