CHICAGO - The Nov. 5 deadline is swiftly approaching for public libraries to participate in the 2010-2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey. The survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information on computer and Internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training and other uses of public libraries, such as providing public access technology centers in their communities. Libraries are encouraged to log on now at http://www.plinternetsurvey.org.
Recently, study findings have:
- been cited in hundreds of media outlets, including Newsweek, Governing Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and NPR;
- informed the National Broadband Plan and successful library grant applications for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program;
- been used in presentations to the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) and the National Association of Counties Association; and
- been used in Congressional and state-level testimony, as well as in comments to federal agencies.
“The success of the survey rests largely on the overall and individual state response rates,” said Larra Clark, project manager for the American Library Association Office for Research & Statistics. “We encourage all public libraries to log on and help us create the most complete picture possible of technology in our nation's public libraries so that we may continue to raise awareness of the successes and challenges of libraries in meeting community technology needs.”
Improvements in the Web survey now make it easier for libraries with multiple branches to report where data is the same across branches (“ditto” feature) and for libraries who responded last year to import and update previous responses.
The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, continues work begun by John Carlo Bertot and Charles R. McClure in 1994. The survey is managed by the Center for Library & Information Innovation at the University of Maryland.
More information, including results from the 2009-2010 study, is available online at http://www.ala.org/plinternetfunding. A new blog – Libraries Connect Communities – and Twitter feed (ala_ors) also share news, findings, insights and free resources from the study.