ALA: Second-round of broadband stimulus funding gives priority to libraries

Contact: Jenni Terry

Press Officer

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410

For Immediate Release

January 19, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) says changes made to the second round of funding for the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) will expand the opportunities for libraries and other community anchor institutions to apply and receive funding.

In November, the ALA filed
comments to both agencies describing the challenges faced by library applicants in the first round. Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, said the association was pleased to note a number of these comments were incorporated in the round-two BTOP
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and BIP
NOFA, which were released Friday.

“The round-two NOFAs recognize the important role libraries play in communities throughout the country,” Sheketoff said.

“The changes to the NOFAs released Friday reaffirm that advocacy on behalf of libraries can make a difference. The BTOP NOFA states the application process has been streamlined making it less burdensome, especially for smaller applicants. We heard from our members that this was a major hurdle in round one. Libraries and other community anchor institutions have been given priority in the second round.”

As with the first round of funding applications, the ALA Washington Office will support library applications by posting resources and information about this final round of funding to ALA’s Web site, The Web site will soon include a Resource Library with an overview of the key changes between the round-one and round-two NOFAs, summaries of the round-one awarded library projects, case studies of five successfully networked library systems, and other documents produced by the Washington Office in response to the new NOFAs.

The Washington Office will also host a series of webinars for library applicants. The first webinar, to be held on Friday, January 22 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., will focus on the changes between round one and round two with time reserved for a Q&A. Register for the webinar

Finally, will link to important resources developed by NTIA and RUS so that libraries have access to the most up-to-date official information and resources.