Internet connectivity is essential in today’s digital world – to access skilling, education, social services, and many other opportunities. Yet, over 30% of the U.S. population doesn’t have fixed broadband service, even though it’s available where they live. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) found that one reason why so many U.S. households are not online is because of concerns about cost and affordability.
The Affordable Connectivity Program, also known as the ACP, from the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helps families and households with affordable internet service.
In collaboration with AT&T, PLA developed the ACP Basics digital course and workshop materials to help provide families and households identify the information they need to apply for the program, how to apply for the program, and how to use the benefit.
The PLA ACP Basics Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T is designed to support library adoption of the PLA DigitalLearn ACP Basics training materials developed in collaboration with AT&T. These materials are freely available at: https://training.digitallearn.org/courses/the-affordable-connectivity-program-basics. The deadline has been extended and applications will now be accepted until June 11, 2023, 11:59 PM Central.
POTENTIAL USES OF THE INCENTIVE
Funds awarded are to be used to support the facilitation of the ACP Basics DigitalLearn workshop and to promote the AT&T co-created ACP digital course.
This opportunity requires the facilitation of in-person or online workshops using the DigitalLearn.org curriculum.
Workshop topics are limited to:
The ACP Basics workshop training package contains teaching resources (instructor guide, presentation slides, handouts, checklists, certificate of completion) to help an individual or family through the entire ACP process, from establishing eligibility to getting ready to apply to using the benefit when approved. Topics include:
- ACP Overview (program info and eligibility)
- Getting Ready to Apply (rules, necessary documentation)
- How to Apply (application walk through) and
- Using the Benefit (finding a provider, connecting to library resources, and learning more)
Examples of how incentive funds may be used:
- Hire trainers to conduct workshops.
- Print handouts, certificates, and other learner materials for in-person trainings.
- Purchase project supplies (e.g., paper, post-its, printing, etc.).
- Purchase non-capital equipment to be used for training (e.g., computer and/or projector, smart board, tablets to be used for trainings).
- Advertise workshops and PLA and AT&T’s digital literacy resources. Examples include outdoor banner, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, and locally produced promotional videos.
- Purchase and distribute materials to promote DigitalLearn and your library’s digital skills support. Examples include bookmarks, paper notebooks, flash drives, headphones, tee shirts, socks, calendars, water bottles, tote bags etc.
- Items to be used as a giveaway or free drawing. Examples include tablet, gift card or any of the items listed in the bullet above.
- Translate training materials into languages other English or Spanish.
- Rent a space for training (if needed and not held in a library).
- Provide snacks for attendees at in-person trainings.
- Provide transportation for attendees.
- Provide childcare for attendees.
- Hire translators or interpreters.
- Purchase PPE such as masks, hand and equipment sanitizer for in-person training.
- NOTE: funds cannot be used for e-rate eligible expenses, such as broadband connections and maintenance. Please contact your state e-rate coordinator if you have detailed questions.
- Open to all public libraries in the United States and Washington, D.C.
- Only complete and eligible applications that are received by June 11, 2023, at 11:59 PM Central will be reviewed.
- NOTE: any public libraries receiving ACP outreach grants from the Federal Communications Commission should ensure compliance prior to applying for this incentive.
Incentive Amounts and Requirements
Libraries can apply for an incentive of $1,500. There is a total funding pool of $75,000. 50 libraries will be selected to receive an incentive. Each applicant must meet the requirements outlined below.
- Conduct ACP Basic Workshop to reach a minimum of 8 learners/attendees using the ACP Basics workshop materials.
- Complete all workshops by: December 31, 2023
Administrative and Promotional Requirements:
- Complete and submit the MOU agreement, W9 and related forms by July 14, 2023.
- Participate in at least two related educational webinars.
- Use the ACP Basics training materials created by PLA and AT&T, available on training.digitallearn.org.
- Use Project Outcome based surveys to collect learner outcomes at the end of each workshop.
- Join the ALA Connect Community to receive project updates and communicate with fellow awardees.
- Share workshop schedule in advance with PLA and AT&T.
- In many regions AT&T will use help promote workshops using a toolkit provided by PLA. In these regions, participating libraries will comply with PLA and AT&T’s promotional requirements:
- Develop a promotional plan to recruit digital learners from underserved and/or under-resourced groups.
- Announce the award in a press release, newsletter and/or appropriate communication to community and stakeholders.
- Use approved logos and/or donor acknowledgement statement when library’s programs are promoted or presented.
- Promote the new PLA and AT&T digital literacy resources available at DigitalLearn.org, with required acknowledgement of donors, to the library’s community.
- Submit final report to PLA by January 12, 2024.
Note: AT&T representative and employee volunteers are not permitted to attend or participate in any ACP workshops at libraries participating in this program.
The deadline has been extended and applications will now be accepted for PLA ACP Basics Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T until June 11, 2023. To be considered, your library’s application must be submitted through ALA’s online grant administration system. For more information about using our system, please visit ALA’s How to Apply webpage.
You may preview the PLA ACP Basics Workshop Incentive application (PDF) before beginning your submission.
The online application requires contact information for the project lead and overview information about your library. You must also respond to narrative questions and confirm your acceptance of the incentive requirements. All complete applications will be reviewed, and awardees selected by PLA staff and member volunteers.
Applications will be reviewed based on how effectively the criteria below have been addressed.
- Overview of the library and the community it serves, including demographics, dynamics, and key issues or challenges it faces in relation to digital literacy.
- Demonstrates how the library will engage their local community in attending programming. Such as a targeted marketing and outreach plan for meeting the required attendee numbers.
- Identification of possible partner organization.
- Presents a compelling case for how this grant will advance the library’s efforts in reaching under-represented groups, historically marginalized audiences, or members of your community that your library has not reached previously.
Participating libraries will be required to submit one brief report to PLA. PLA will provide a reporting template; a brief overview of reporting requirements is below. An evaluator will be engaged as part of this program, and you may be asked to participate in a focus group or interview about your experience.
Report to PLA, due January 12, 2024
- Date and title of each workshop, language workshop was conducted in and attendance numbers.
- Number of people who attended all workshops in total. (You may count an individual more than once if they attended more than one workshop.)
- Where did your workshops take place?
- What types of equipment and materials were purchased for the workshops?
- What types of incentives did you provide for patrons?
- What populations did your workshops serve?
- Did you work with a community partner?
- Who facilitated your workshops?
- How were workshop participants recruited?
- On average, how much time did your facilitators spend preparing for a workshop?
- Did you find the training materials easy to use and adapt?
- Did you find the training materials relevant to the needs of your patrons?
- In your opinion did your workshops improve the readiness for attendees to apply for ACP?
- What went well with your workshops?
- What challenges did you and your attendees face?
- What changes should DigitalLearn make to the ACP Basics materials to better meet your community’s needs?
- What other Digital Literacy topics are the most in demand in your community?
- How will your library continue conducting the DigitalLearn ACP Basics workshops in the future?
- Open ended “Anything Else We Should Know?”
- Optional: Y/N I am interested in building awareness of these resources by sharing my story with the media and through other promotional opportunities.
|May 12–June 11:||Applications accepted|
|TBA:||Application Office Hours Webinar|
|June 2–16:||Application review|
|Week of June 19:||Applicant libraries notified of status|
|June 22–27:||ALA Annual Conference featuring a DigitalLearn session|
|July 14:||Deadline to accept and submit MOU and W9 forms|
|August 4–September 8:||All incentive payments issued to participating libraries|
|July and August (dates TBA):||
Library Workshops conducted
(Libraries can begin hosting workshops before payment is received or after)
|January 12, 2024:||Final Library Report due to PLA|