January 28, 2022

Gates Foundation Releases Study on Potential Benefits of State Research & Education Networks For Libraries

From an ALA Announcement:

A new study commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation explores potential benefits of state research and education (R&E) networks for libraries. Titled “Connections, Capacity, Community,” the report was developed in response to national investments in state and regional fiber networks through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Currently, there are 38 active state R&E networks, of which 22 currently serve at least some of the libraries in their respective states. BTOP-funded infrastructure projects will facilitate the launch of three new R&E networks and expand seven R&E networks’ coverage of libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) has supported a variety of approaches to improve broadband connectivity for our nation’s public libraries including the development of a Unified Community Anchor Network (UCAN).  Most recently, the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) announced Bob Bocher, technology consultant for the Wisconsin State Library and ALA OITP Fellow, will serve on a new U.S. UCAN task force.

OITP also has published reports on related topics, including Making Connections: Lessons from Five Shared Library Networks, Fiber to the Library and Regional Library Cooperatives and the Future of Broadband (PDFs).

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.