NDIA is happy to report we received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) supporting a pilot Digital Inclusion Corps. The project will demonstrate the value of having local digital inclusion corps members connected nationally to a supportive peer network working towards increased digital inclusion in the United States. Lessons learned from this project will inform efforts toward a substantial national digital inclusion corps.

This pilot project will work with three state library agencies and two museum organizations to deploy Corps members in five tribal and rural communities. We are entering into agreements with the five agencies and expect to announce them soon. The Corps Members will be individuals who already work with the targeted communities or come from the communities they will be working within. They will begin February 15, 2017. The five Corps members will work with local communities to discover their community digital inclusion-related needs. They will then create a digital equity plan to address any of the following: affordable home internet access, public access, low-cost devices and digital literacy training and technology support. With support, the Corps members will implement the plans, share their experiences online and gather and annotate a collection of digital literacy materials for a publicly available repository at the U.S. Impact Research Group at the University of Washington.

Early 2017, NDIA affiliates will be welcome to participate in the development of the digital literacy materials repository, as trained volunteers assessing materials and offering materials to the Corps, iSchool students and volunteers assessing materials.  The project will document a recommendation of function improvements to the repository that require investment beyond volunteer hours.

NDIA is pleased to share Matthew Kopel will be joining NDIA as Program Manager on January 15, 2017. He will lead the Digital Inclusion Corps Pilot Project.

Read the full IMLS press release.