Co-Authoring the Digital inclusion blog series are John Bertot* and Larra Clark**
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland are pleased to launch a new Digital Inclusion blog series.
Based largely on the Digital Inclusion Survey (digitalinclusion.umd.edu) conducted in partnership with ALA, iPAC, and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the blog series will explore how public libraries contribute to digital inclusion and readiness in their communities.
For nearly 20 years, the Digital Inclusion Survey and the previous related Public Library Funding & Technology Access (PLFTAS) and Public Libraries and the Internet surveys have documented the progress of public libraries and their use of and involvement with the Internet and Internet-enabled services (you can find previous survey findings at plinternetsurvey.org). These surveys have been instrumental in informing policy makers and members of the media about how libraries have been in constant evolution in tandem with advances in technology and shifting community needs. ALA has used this research for national advocacy ranging from E-rate to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. More broadly, these data help demonstrate The E’s of Libraries® and how Libraries Transform™ to serve as catalysts for individual empowerment and community progress.
The blog series will consider Public libraries as they relate to varied topics such as:
- employment and economic development;
- digital inclusion;
- digital literacy;
- community access;
- impact of their buildings/space on digital inclusion;
- funding trends; and
- services and usage trends.
We invite you to join the conversation and add your observations to the vital role that public libraries play in building digitally inclusive communities. Stay posted!
*John Carlo Bertot is the Digital Inclusion Survey lead researcher and co-director of the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland.
**Larra Clark is ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) deputy director