Inclusive Gigabit Libraries

Oslo, Norway; Photo by Sharon Irish

Dr. Jon Gant, Director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) and Research Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), in partnership with the Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association (ALA) and U.S. Ignite, received a grant of $99,168 from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services for “Inclusive Gigabit Libraries: Learn, Discuss, and Brainstorm.”  The funding will support at least four national continuing education forums over the course of 2012-13. The forums will address how libraries can implement the use of next generation Internet networks to promote digital inclusion. Dr. Gant and his team hope to engage leaders in LIS, technology, government and foundations in these forums.

These forums will feature several case studies, and culminate in a white paper to synthesize the forums and case studies. The paper will assess the governance, staff, and financial resources and capabilities needed to support libraries in using next-generation Internet networks. The first in-person forum will be at the California Library Association meeting in November, followed by the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition gathering in March 2013, and the 2013 Annual ALA Conference in Chicago. There is a webinar in development with the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA).

“Inclusive Gigabit Libraries” aims to help libraries create applications and services that will meet the needs of the public and, in particular, underserved communities. Areas of national priority are advanced manufacturing, transportation, clean energy, education and workforce development, emergency preparedness and public safety, and health information technologies. Libraries are vital information institutions and this project will support new ways for them to meet the needs of the communities they serve. We invite library leaders, state and local government officials, technology companies, and other entrepreneurs to join us in this exciting exploration! Contact Sharon Irish,, for more information.


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