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Kansas State Library to Host Rural Broadband Summit


WASHINGTON — On September 18, 2007, the State Library of Kansas will host a summit on rural broadband, co-sponsored by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and featuring several ALA members.

The event — “A Whole New Mind: Providing Accessible Broadband Internet for Kansas” — is set to take place at the International Grains Executive Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas, and its goal is “to encourage communities to establish strategies for broadband access and to propose actions or policies at the state level to support these community strategies.”

Notable participants include:

  • Mark Bard, OITP Information Technology Policy Specialist;
  • Nancy Bolt, member of the OITP Telecommunications Policy Subcommittee and former State Librarian of Colorado;
  • John Carlin, former Governor and former Archivist of the United States;
  • Linda Schatz, ALA E-rate consultant;
  • Rep. Tom Sloan, Kansas House of Representatives;
  • Rick Weingarten, ALA Library Connectivity Project Director; and
  • John Windhausen, ALA Telecommunications Policy consultant.

“This is going to be an exciting event to be sure,” said Christie Brandau, State Librarian of Kansas. “But more importantly, it’s going to address what is quickly becoming one of the most important topics in the rural library world, right here in Kansas, where 85% of public libraries are in towns of under 2000.”

“As more and more of the world becomes reliant on the Internet, and as libraries expand their role as the primary source for public access in rural areas, the issue of connectivity emerges as being of the utmost importance,” said Alan Inouye, Director of OITP. “Events like the Kansas broadband summit are exactly what we need right now to address this topic and I encourage other states to follow suit.”

For more information on this subject, please visit the ALA Washington Office’s Broadband page.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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