[PL-Directors] Gates Broadband Assessment Survey - Due 12/19

Jim Scheppke jim.b.scheppke at state.or.us
Mon Dec 1 11:08:01 PST 2008

Dear Public Library Director:
I am writing to inform you about a new opportunity to work in partnership
with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve access to high-quality
technology services in public libraries across our country.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has recently launched a nationwide
effort to collect detailed information about Internet connections in all
public libraries in the United States. This effort, the Broadband Assessment
Project, will help the foundation and its partners raise awareness of the
need for high-quality Internet in public libraries and how to meet this
The data collected by the foundation will also help us in our collective
work to improve support and funding for Internet services in Oregon public
libraries. It will provide essential data about the levels of Internet
connectivity and the resources we devote to these services state-wide.
Finally, the data collected through the project will inform future Gates
Foundation investments to increase and sustain access to broadband Internet
in public libraries.
In order to ensure that the project can help us effectively advocate for
increased support of library connectivity, we need your help. We strongly
urge you to participate in this important program.
The foundation has engaged a team of third-party researchers to conduct the
Broadband Assessment Project. Here is what we need you to do now, so that we
are able to assist the researchers in their work:
> Download, save and review the attached spreadsheet, then gather the
> information requested.  Please note that we are asking you for the information
> for each library facility (branch/outlet, please do not include mobile units)
> you may be responsible for. The types of questions you¹ll need to answer
> differ from other broad-ranging surveys you may have already participated in
> such as the American Library Association & Florida State University Public
> Library Funding and Technology Access Survey (ALA/FSU Survey). Specifically,
> the foundation wants to understand the following:
> * Basic branch/outlet information, number of Internet subscriptions and
> subscription decision-maker.
> * The type of Internet connection, the connection speed, the provider and the
> cost of the connection (information you can obtain from monthly bills or other
> contract agreements; we will need this information for each Internet service
> subscription at the branch/outlet).
> * Basic description of the source of funding for your connections.
> Enter your answers on the attached spreadsheet, for all the branches/outlets
> you oversee.  We have included spaces for up to 20 branches/outlets (one
> column in the spreadsheet should be used for each facility). If you have any
> questions on how to complete the form, please email Oregon at LRWsupport.com or
> call Barbara Giaimo at 310-552-7704.

> Review your answers for completeness and return the spreadsheet via email by
> Friday, December 19th. Please attach and return the spreadsheet via email to
> Oregon at LRWsupport.com . Please also save a copy for your own records.
> Take the time to speak with the researcher who contacts you.  A representative
> from Lieberman Research Worldwide (a professional third party researcher hired
> by the foundation) may contact you by telephone beginning on December 22nd to
> confirm the information you have sent in, check on your completion of the
> questionnaire, or, if we do not receive a spreadsheet from you, to collect the
> information over the telephone. If a representative from Lieberman Research
> Worldwide calls you, they will request that you refer to and/or read your
> answers to the questionnaire over the phone so please keep your copy of the
> spreadsheet in a place that¹s easy for you to access.
I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to provide the requested
information completely and thoroughly. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
has provided us and our colleagues across the country with an important
opportunity to work together to help improve Internet connectivity in public
libraries. Finding approaches to increase and sustain public library
connectivity and public access to Internet-based library services is
critical to Oregon libraries and the communities we serve.
Again, you have questions about completing the survey please contact Barbara
Giaimo at the email address or phone number above.
I will greatly appreciate your cooperation.
Jim Scheppke, State Librarian

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