ALA celebrates World Wi-Fi Day

Among all their other functions in our communities, libraries are critical spaces for people to access the internet, and they are increasingly doing so wirelessly via Wi-Fi.

Virtually all public libraries in the U.S. provide Wi-Fi to patrons. By doing so, libraries serve as community technology hubs that enable digital opportunity and Michael Petricone stands with Rep Darrell Issa and Comissioner Michael O'Riellyfull participation in the nation’s economy. Wi-Fi is a critical part of how libraries are transforming our programs and services in the digital age.

June 20th was World Wi-Fi Day, a global initiative helping to bridge the digital divide as well as recognizing and celebrating the role of Wi-Fi in cities and communities around the world. In Washington, D.C., the WifiForward Coalition—of which ALA is a founding member—held a kick off celebration at the Consumer Technology Association’s Innovation House off of Capitol Hill. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly were on hand to expound on the wonders of Wi-Fi and to voice their support for policies that would help its growth and success.

ALA added the following statement to materials for World Wi-Fi Day:

“With Wi-Fi, our nation’s 120,000 libraries are able to dramatically increase our capacity to connect people of all incomes and backgrounds to the Internet beyond our public desktop computers. Wi-Fi allows us to serve more people anywhere in the library, as well as enabling mobile technology training labs, roving reference, access to diverse digital collections and pop-up library programs and services. Library wi-fi is essential to support The E’s of Libraries®—Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Empowerment and Engagement—on campuses and in communities nationwide. The American Library Association is proud to be a supporter of World Wi-Fi Day.”

About Ellen Satterwhite

Ellen Satterwhite an ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Fellow and Vice President of the Glen Echo Group. She has years of experience at the intersection of technology and policy, including as a co-author of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and as Consumer Policy Advisor to the Commission. Satterwhite earned a Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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