The Benton Foundation published the paper Libraries Increasing Broadband Adoption written by Angela Siefer of National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Katherine Bates of Urban Libraries Council, Colin Rhinesmith of School of Library and Information Studies, University of Oklahoma, and Benton Foundation Faculty Research Fellow.
Summary: With library systems increasingly prioritizing equitable access to the Internet and digital literacy training, the role 21st century libraries serve in promoting digital inclusion has become more prominent. The focus on increasing broadband access and use is happening locally and nationally with libraries increasing digital equity through partnerships with community-based organizations and engagement strategies with local neighborhoods. The New York Public Library and the Kansas City Public Library, for example, are experimenting with and searching for innovative solutions to the digital divide, which includes increasing home broadband access. While solutions must be locally-customized to meet the needs of specific populations, national support is necessary to aid local efforts, raise the visibility of the issue, garner resources, and create peer networks. To that end, this paper provides descriptions of local and national initiatives supportive of broadband adoption.