Mapping Inclusion: Public Library Technology and Community Needs

Liz Steiner
Marketing Manager
esteiner@ala.org

CHICAGO — As economic, education, health and other disparities grow, equitable access to and participation in the online environment is essential for success. And yet, communities and individuals find themselves at differing levels of readiness in their ability to access and use the Internet, engage a range of digital technologies and get and create digital content.

The Digital Inclusion Survey examines the efforts of public libraries to address these readiness gaps by providing free access to broadband, public access technologies, digital content, digital literacy training, and a range of programming that helps build digitally inclusive communities. A new interactive mapping tool places these library resources in a community context. The 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 are grant partners.

This webinar presents findings from the Digital Inclusion Survey and explores the intersections of public access technologies and education, employment, health & wellness, digital literacy, e-government and inclusion. It will share new tools and demonstrate how to locate and interpret national and state-level results from the survey for planning and advocacy purposes, as well as present cases for the interactive mapping tool, with suggestions for creating a digital inclusion snapshot of your public library.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will become more aware of the status of digital inclusion services in public libraries.
  • Participants will be able to locate and use survey results at the national and state level.
  • Participants will be able to use the interactive mapping tool that combines community level data with 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey data.
  • Participants will become more familiar with how library data can be used and “mashed up” with other public community data to identify service gaps and make the case for added library capacity to meet local needs.

Who Should Attend?

All public librarians who have an interest in digital inclusion; library directors who must make decisions about what types of resources and services to fund; CIOs; library board members; and youth services librarians who often lead to way to new technologies in the library.

Presenters:

Larra Clark is deputy director of the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Her responsibilities include overall management of OITP’s telecommunications portfolio, strategic communications and research and day-to-day management of projects in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously Larra served as the project manager in the ALA Office for Research & Statistics, where she coordinated the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, conducted qualitative research and managed editorial and communications activities.

John Carlo Bertot is co-director of the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) and Professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. His research spans information and telecommunications policy, e-government, government agency technology planning and evaluation and library planning and evaluation. Over the years, Bertot has received funding for his research from the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Government Accountability Office, the American Library Association and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Tyler Schrag is data systems director at Community Attributes Inc. Tyler joined CAI in 2008, and leads much of the technology innovation at the firm. With skills in GIS, database systems and online technology development, he has helped large clients like Swedish Hospital, Providence Health & Services and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation translate their data into powerful decision-making knowledge. He also is the mastermind behind the Digital Inclusion Survey interactive mapping tool.

Justin Grimes is statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Justin is deeply involved with survey design, data collection and statistical analysis for IMLS-supported research and evaluation activities. He also oversees the agency’s open government and open data initiatives.

Date and time: March 6, 2015 at noon Central Time

This webinar is free.

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