Public libraries can log on starting Sept. 22, 2014

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/24/2014

Contact:

Kathy Rosa

Director

ALA Office for Research & Statistics (ORS)

American Library Association

312-280-4273

krosa@ala.org

CHICAGO — This September, the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Research & Statistics and the University of Maryland Information Policy & Access Center  continue to capture information about the vital roles public libraries play in supporting digital inclusion.

Now in its second year, the Digital Inclusion Survey is a survey of all public libraries in the country. It assesses digital infrastructure and services provided by libraries, including in workforce development, health and e-government.

“Actionable data is something every manager seeks to improve services and educate decision makers. I am proud the American Library Association supports timely, relevant research that documents the impact of libraries in the Digital Age, as well as the development of resources that leverage such research,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels.

Funded by a three-year, National Leadership Grant award from the Institute for Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the study builds on the long-running Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, which provided a “state of the library” report on the technology resources brokered by libraries and the funding that enables free public access to these resources. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) serve as partners on the grant.

“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. Partnering with ALA and the University of Maryland on this project will help bring greater understanding and awareness on the role of libraries on the critical issue of digital inclusion,” said Robert J. O'Neill, Jr., executive director, International City/County Management Association.

The ALA and iPAC are developing resources to enable easy use by public library leaders at the local, state and national levels – including new interactive mapping tools, issues briefs, state reports, infographics and more. Links to these tools and to the 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey results, can be found at http://www.ala.org/research/digitalinclusion and http//digitalinclusion.umd.edu.

The survey goes live Sept. 22, 2014.