[Libs-Or] Fwd: [alacro-l] "Got E-rate?": A New Initiative

Suzanne Sager bvss at pdx.edu
Tue Feb 10 07:34:11 PST 2015


Suzanne L. Sager

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Don Wood <dwood at ala.org>
Date: Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 6:40 AM
Subject: [alacro-l] "Got E-rate?": A New Initiative
To: "alacro-l at lists.ala.org" <alacro-l at lists.ala.org>

At the American Library Association’s Midwinter (ALA) Meeting in Chicago,
the Association announced the launch of "Got E-rate?," a new initiative
that encourages library leaders to apply for internet discounts as part of
the national E-rate program. The initiative is a response to the Federal
Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent overhaul of the E-rate program,
which included adding $1.5 billion to the annual available funding. This
infusion and other program changes provide new opportunities for libraries
to radically rethink their broadband networks and begin to make gains
toward the broadband speeds necessary for today’s and tomorrow’s library

In the coming weeks, ALA, in collaboration with the Public Library
Association (PLA), state library agencies, and other partners, will launch
a series of E-rate resources, including communications, education,
practical tools and technical support for librarians who are interested in
applying for E-rate funding.

"ALA invested significant resources over the past 18 months to ensure the
FCC’s reform efforts would benefit libraries," said ALA President Courtney
Young. "Due in large part to this advocacy, the program now supports more
options for libraries that lack sufficient broadband capacity to design and
maintain broadband networks to meet their communities’ growing broadband
needs. The changes also include specific funding to upgrade wireless
networks. But our work is far from over. ALA is redoubling its efforts to
ensure libraries are fully prepared to take advantage of the "new" E-rate

"ALA strongly encourages libraries to apply for E-rate funds," Young added.
"If you already apply, it’s time to think bigger and plan for the long-term
broadband growth of your library. If you have not applied in recent years
or at all, it’s time to think anew about the program. There are more
options for increasing broadband capacity and options that can be tailored
to the specific needs of your library—whether rural, suburban, or urban.
The FCC opened the door for libraries, and it is up to us to walk through

"ALA urges libraries to take a fresh look at the E-rate program," said
Young. "The majority of libraries have a long way to go before they have
the broadband capacity they need. In the next five years, ALA aims to
double the amount of E-rate funding going to libraries."

In the next coming months, ALA will work collaboratively with the Chief
Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and the Public Library
Association (PLA) to support libraries with applying for the E-rate program.

"Along with ALA, COSLA will be urging libraries to take a fresh look at the
E-rate program," said COSLA President Kendall Wiggin. "The new E-rate
program is a victory for our communities, but to make it meaningful,
libraries must apply."

"The FCC’s re-engineering of the E-rate program has created important new
opportunities for libraries to build and transform the cutting-edge
broadband networks necessary to support all our patrons including--students
of all ages, business owners, and jobseekers—in local libraries," said PLA
President Larry Neal.

To receive alerts on ALA’s involvement in E-rate, follow the ALA Office for
Information Technology Policy (OITP) on Twitter at @OITP and use the
Twitter hashtag #libraryerate. More information is available at:

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Suzanne L. Sager
Oregon ALA Representative
Portland State University Library
PO Box 1151
Portland, OR  97207-1151

Phone: 503-725-8169
Fax: 503-725-5799

email: sagers at pdx.edu
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