Although the Digital Inclusion Corps pilot project comes to a close next month, my digital inclusion activities with the Arizona State Library will continue. We can credit NDIA’s vision and execution of this pilot project to be the change agent for increased action in this space.
Even though getting the hotspot lending pilot project off the ground has taken a lot of time, we still consider it to be a successful project because of the high interest level and the ensuing discussions about the importance of home access. In addition to the four hotspot lending pilot libraries in Arizona–funded through my NDIA project funds–the Arizona State Library has opened a subgrant application for 10 additional public libraries for the purposes of starting a hotspot lending program. Over the next year, I will continue to support the libraries in the implementation and documentation of the lending program. I’m looking forward to hearing from library staff about their experiences behind the counter and how they see the service benefitting their community.
Broadband 101 training
My colleagues at the State Library and I learned a lot as participants in Internet2’s “Towards Gigabit Libraries” project. We are excited to continue reaching out to small, rural, and tribal libraries to demystify broadband technology and identify short and long-term opportunities to improve service. In particular, we will localize the toolkit to include Arizona-specific resources, by bolstering the E-rate information and adding information about grant funding opportunities through the State Library.
Digital Inclusion Working Group
This week will be the first meeting of the digital inclusion working group at the Arizona State Library. The goals of the meeting are to increase inter-agency coordination of efforts in addressing digital inclusion barriers for Arizona libraries and to create a culture of information sharing. We will also work to identify our digital inclusion goals.
- I hope to be able to facilitate additional techie camps for tribal and rural libraries across the state and the distribution of additional refurbished laptops.
- There are a number of digital inclusion needs revolving around the preservation and access of cultural heritage resources, including language materials and ephemera. I would like to continue exploring how these two areas intersect.
- I will be attending and presenting at various professional conferences this year to discuss digital inclusion activities and the hotspot lending program.