ALA to host Emergency Connectivity Fund Q&A Instagram Live event for libraries, featuring acting FCC chairwoman

For Immediate Release
Mon, 07/26/2021


Steve Zalusky

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association

(312) 280-1546

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Library Association (ALA) will host a live Q&A event on Instagram, this Thursday, July 29 at 2 p.m. EDT to share how libraries are planning to use the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program supporting digital equity efforts through libraries and schools nationwide. ALA staff will talk to practitioners in the field about their plans for using disbursed funds, speak with library and state leaders about the ECF application process & ALA’s free application resources, and hear from FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel about the importance of promoting digital equity through our nation’s libraries.  

The event will begin at 1 p.m. CDT/2 p.m. EDT through ALA’s Instagram account (@americanlibraryassociation). Marijke Visser, senior policy advocate in ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy Office in Washington, will speak with event participants over Instagram Live and take questions from the audience throughout. Participants from across the country will answer questions about how they plan to implement funding and share how they are tackling the application process.  

Event Speakers:  

  • Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Communications Commission 

  • Director of Strategic Initiatives and Advocacy Nikki Scarpitti, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Ohio 

  • State E-Rate Coordinator Lauren Abner, Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives 

  • Director Tom Shepley, Pamunkey Regional Library, Virginia

  • Director Misty Hawkins, Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System

  • Division Director, Information Technology Chris Martinez, Harris County Public Library, Texas

In addition to taking questions from the audience, ALA staff will make the recording of the event available on ALA’s Instagram page as well as ALA’s ECF resource 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 for libraries to guide them through the application process, with sample application materials and expert advice. Libraries can use these tools to apply for the ECF by Aug. 13, 2021: