Take the ALA's Digital Inclusion Survey and See Your Library's Impact

Every day, public libraries are on the front lines of digital inclusion. You might not know it, but you are a digital inclusion hero. Your public library is most likely doing the following:

  • Providing free Internet access
  • Teaching computer classes
  • Instructing teens on how to use the Internet safely
  • Helping patrons develop job skills
  • Providing access to health information

Digital inclusion through the lens of local government

Recently, I was asked, "why are city/county managers interested in digital inclusion?"

Libraries build digital communities

Today I'm co-facilitating an ALA session titled, "Libraries Lead Community Digital Inclusion." Along with my colleagues from WebJunction, ICMA, and IMLS, we'll be guiding librarians through activities that utilize IMLS' recently published Building Digital Communities framework. I'll be talking about gathering stakeholders and leaders for digital inclusion work. Here's what I plan to share.

Do you do digital inclusion?

Digital Inclusion is a tough term. Tough, because it isn't often one that organizations use, understand, or have even heard. Sure, there are all sorts of words we don't use or need to use, but for libraries, nonprofits, and elected officials, "digital inclusion" is increasingly an important term to add to our collective lexicon.

Kick it. Benchmarks get more input.

At a recent ALA MidWinter session on the Edge Initiative, Larra Clark from ALA OITP ended her remarks with, "the benchmarks are meant to be kicked. So kick it." Thus launched a focus group exercise where approximately 50 attendees were asked to provide feedback to a draft set of public access technology benchmarks.

Societal Impacts of Digital Exclusion

Recently I was asked to comment on the importance of digital technologies from the perspective of local governments, which led me to think philosophically.

Digging Into the Digital Inclusion Framework

I was lucky enough to attend a Digital Inclusion Forum event in Los Angeles last month. The Forum was designed to gather community feedback on the proposed Framework for Digital Inclusion developed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the University of Washington, and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Read and share this report to "Maximize the Potential of Your Public Library"

Learn how public libraries can partner with local governments to support important community issues such as economic development, public safety, environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, education, and literacy. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, awarded grants to nine jurisdictions to develop programs that help communities strengthen government and library partnerships and develop strategic and innovative library programming. ICMA's recent report,  

Our Sputnik Moment

I just returned from meetings in snowy Washington D.C. to participate in the Digital Inclusion Working Group, a group convened by IMLS, TASCHA/UW and ICMA. These discussions were to provide feedback on the first draft of a proposed Framework for Digitally Inclusive Communities, which is a direct response to mandates in the National Broadband Plan.