Libraries urged to participate in first Digital Inclusion Survey

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/10/2013

Contact:

Norman Rose
Program Officer
Office for Research & Statistics (ORS)
312.280.4283
nrose@ala.org

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) is encouraging public libraries to participate in the first Digital Inclusion Survey. The survey will take the pulse of public library service in the areas of digital literacy, economic and workforce development, civic engagement, educational support, health information and public access to the internet. Information about the project and access to the online survey are available at http://digitalinclusion.umd.edu. The survey will be open through Nov. 15, 2013.

The Digital Inclusion Survey is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and conducted by the ALA Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland. The International City/County Management Association and the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy serve as partners on the grant.

“Participation in the survey is essential to raising awareness of the significant impacts that public libraries have in building digitally inclusive communities,” said Dr. Kathy Rosa, director, ALA Office for Research & Statistics. “The survey will provide libraries with access to unique data that will make it easier than ever to inform and educate community stakeholders.”

Libraries that participate in the survey will be able to interactively view their library in context with community-level data, including poverty and unemployment rates, household income, education levels, English proficiency and other population demographics. This will enable libraries to:

  • identify community impacts of library public computer and internet access;
  • identify opportunities to improve public access technology services based on community needs and demographics;
  • demonstrate library contributions to community digital inclusion efforts.

“Be it helping residents continue their educations, find jobs, improve their career skills, access e-government services, research health information, or connect with family and friends, libraries play an essential role in helping local government meet their greatest challenges by connecting their services to critical community priorities,” said Robert J. O'Neill, Jr., executive director, International City/County Management Association. “Partnering with ALA and the University of Maryland on this project will help bring greater understanding of the role of libraries on the critical issue of digital inclusion.”

More information and related resources are available at http://www.ala.org/DigitalInclusion. Updates and related news will also be available on the ALA Office for Research & Statistics Twitter feed (ala_ors).

 

About the University of Maryland Information Policy & Access Center
The Information Policy & Access Center is a response to the pressing need for research on the processes, practices, policies, and social issues that govern access to information in our increasingly digital information society. IPAC is committed to studying what policies and/or technologies lead to equitable and inclusive information access, a digitally-literate population, an informed and engaged public, or access to Internet-enabled resources and technologies, among key examples.

About the International City/County Management Association
ICMA is the premier organization of professional local government leaders building sustainable communities to improve lives worldwide.  ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

About the Office for Research & Statistics
The Office for Research and Statistics provides leadership and expert advice to ALA staff, members, and public on all matters related to research and statistics about libraries and librarians; represents the Association to federal agencies on these issues; and initiates projects needed to expand the knowledge base of the field through research and the collection of useful statistics.