ALA Advises Libraries On How to Get Broadband Stimulus Money

As you know our federal government passed a stimulus package called "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" (ARRA), authorizing "$7.2 billion for broadband programs – including $4.5 billion designated for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and $2.5 billion for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS)"

Here is a list with 10 tips that libraries can do, according to ALA to present projects to the above mention organizations for funding of broadband access:

Inventory the connectivity at your library and in the surrounding community.

Assess your library’s telecommunications services and identify future needs. Also start to identify resource people who might work with you to develop proposals to NTIA and RUS.

Talk with your campus or school administrators, your local government officials and the governor’s office in your state.

Think collaboration and aggregation. Contact other libraries of all types to find out what they may be planning. Can you work together to aggregate demand for broadband? Connect with your state library agency.

Contact potential partners – public and private. Talk to phone companies cable providers, ISPs and even power companies. Push for “fiber to the library” and other advanced technologies to enhance your library’s connectivity.

Identify the job/career, employment and small business needs and resources in your community. Describe how having broadband will expand your services for “recovery and reinvestment.”

Start thinking about “sustainability.” What will your library need to make sure that your broadband services are stable and robust?

Say “thank you” to your U.S. Senators and Congressional representatives for passing the ARRA. Keep them informed about your library services related to job growth and employment information

Think BIG! Even a small fraction of $7.2 billion dollars is a lot of money. And, we know that libraries need broadband to serve their users. The ARRA is a one-time opportunity to advance broadband build out to the underserved, the unserved and “special populations.”

Click here to find additional recommendations from ALA.

Via: Library Journal News

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