Report: East Texas Libraries’ Parking Lots Offer Internet Lifeline, Many Residents Don’t Have Broadband Access at Home
UPDATE April 12, 2019 Bipartisan Legislation Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to Improve Internet Access in Rural Communities (via Funds For Learning) ||| Coverage From The Verge
From the AP (via The Statesman)
The sun is going down and cars are trickling into the driveway of the Van Zandt County Library. The library closed its doors 15 minutes ago, but the Wi-Fi connection is still on.
Carol Moser, 72, of Canton, is parked crooked across a few spots in her sport utility vehicle. She scrolls on the screen of her smartphone. She said she comes to the library often for the Wi-Fi, which she doesn’t have at home.
Across East Texas, small-town librarians say this is a common scene in their parking lots at night, as residents without broadband connections at home come to do work, access their email on their phone and browse social media.
And it’s completely intentional: Librarians each say they have made a point of getting the highest-quality internet for their facilities as possible because the residents of their communities don’t have access at their homes.
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Note: This story was originally published on March 31, 2019 by the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.