For immediate release | June 3, 2014

Digital Inclusion Survey team launches speed test this summer in selected public libraries

CHICAGO — As part of the Digital Inclusion Survey, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and conducted by the American Library Association Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland College Park, the project partners will conduct a national sample study of actual Internet access speeds in the summer of 2014 in public libraries.

The speed test study is an addition to the three-year National Leadership Grant from the IMLS to study digital inclusion.

High-speed broadband is crucial for providing library users access to the wealth of available digital content, including employment services, health care services and other digital content. The data collection will answer questions about the quality of Internet connections in public access computers and wireless-connected devices at various points in the library day – the differences between subscribed upload and download speeds, speeds during times of typical use and speeds peak use times in the library.

Results from the speed test study will be published in September of 2014, including a report and a public release data file.

This national research will help libraries and other community anchors understand the landscape of broadband services for their users and advocate for maintenance and improvements.

Findings from the Digital Inclusion Survey’s Fall 2013 data collection will be published in June 2014; the next data collection will take place in Fall 2014.

The International City/County Management Association and the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy serve as partners on the grant. For more information on the survey, see

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.


Norman Rose

Program Officer