ALA President Patty Wong to host Connectivity Corner Instagram Live series on libraries, broadband access and digital equity

For Immediate Release
Fri, 09/10/2021


Ian Ware

Associate, Communications

Public Policy & Advocacy

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Library Association (ALA) will host a bimonthly series of live conversations between ALA President Patty Wong and library practitioners who are keeping their communities connected with high-speed broadband, technology and digital skills training.  

The first Connectivity Corner event will take place on Friday, September 17, 2:00-2:45 p.m. EDT/1 p.m. CDT through ALA’s Instagram account (@americanlibraryassociation). President Wong will talk with Chris Martinez, Division Director of Information Technology at Harris County (Texas) Public Library (HCPL), about his library’s innovative efforts to connect the 13.6 percent of households in the county without internet access. Their conversation will cover HCPL’s recent application for thousands of hotspots and Chromebooks through the Emergency Connectivity Fund, a new FCC program to help schools and libraries provide tools and services for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.  

Join Patty to hear about HCPL’s ambitious plans, from circulation, training and promotion to engagement with community stakeholders. The conversation will close with 15 minutes for audience questions. Leave with a sample statement of need you can refer to when making application for funding opportunities, including the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which announced a second application filing window September 28 to October 13, 2021*.    

Viewers can access the Connectivity Corner conversations by navigating to ALA’s Instagram account (@americanlibraryassociation), using either the Instagram app or a desktop browser, and clicking on the Live icon when the event begins. A recording of the live event will be available on ALA’s Instagram page.  

* The Emergency Connectivity Fund program provides funding to libraries and schools for hotspots, devices, and other broadband services for digital equity programs. ALA has developed a suite of free resources to guide libraries through the application process, with sample application materials and expert advice on applying during the 15-day open window, which ends on October 13, 2021.