Gant, Cheetham to speak about communities and broadband at upcoming talk

Jon Gant, GSLIS associate professor and director of the Center for Digital Inclusion, and Warren Cheetham, coordinator of information and digital services at CityLibraries in Townsville, Australia, will give a presentation about community broadband adoption at the Champaign Public Library on June 17, 2013.

Gant will discuss his work surrounding libraries and community broadband adoption, specifically his work with US Ignite, an initiative to promote US leadership in developing applications and services for ultra-fast broadband and software-defined networks. US Ignite fosters the creation of novel applications and digital experiences that will transform healthcare, education and job skills training, public safety, energy, and advanced manufacturing. By serving as a coordinator and incubator of this ecosystem, US Ignite will accelerate the adoption of next-generation networks.

Through US Ignite, Gant is bringing together scholars from across the Illinois campus to brainstorm ideas, find areas for research collaboration, and create a plan to bring new applications to fruition.

Over the next decade, the building of the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) will connect 93% of Australian homes, schools, and businesses with optical fiber to the premises, capable of providing broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second. The other 7% of premises will be connected via satellite or fixed-wireless.

Townsville is leading Australia in the NBN rollout. Some suburbs were among the first locations in Australia to be connected to the NBN over 18 months ago. CityLibraries Townsville was the first public library in the country to become NBN-enabled.

To help Australian libraries understand the opportunities the NBN will provide, Warren Cheetham has been awarded a VALA travel scholarship to visit the United States to interview and discuss broadband internet and library services with various stakeholders in local and federal government; telecommunications companies; public, school and university libraries; and academic researchers. Warren’s travel will encompass Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; Washington, DC; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Chicago, Illinois.

The talk will be held at the Champaign Public Library in Robeson Pavilion Room C from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited to the first 40 attendees, so please RSVP to LaEisha Meaderds,

Speaker Biographies

Warren Cheetham is the coordinator of information and digital services at CityLibraries Townsville, Australia. He has worked in public libraries for over twenty years, and his professional interests include the impact of broadband internet on library services, the application of technology to public libraries, and how to best deliver information services, reader engagement, and corporate research services and training to library staff and customers in an online environment. Cheetham has presented at library conferences in Australia and New Zealand, and from 2009-2012 was a practitioner-researcher assisting Dr. Michael Stephens with the CAVAL Visiting Scholar research program, assessing the impact and effect of Learning 2.0 programs on Australian libraries.

Jon Gant is a professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he serves as the director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI). Gant is a national leader in the areas of digital inclusion and broadband adoption. In addition, he is an expert in e-government, geo-spatial information systems, strategic planning, and information systems. His research has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Organization for Economic Coordination and Development, the International Telecommunication Union, and the National Science Foundation, among others. Gant received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied public policy and information management.

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