Free Webinar: The Library’s Role in Connecting Texans to Internet Access

County map of Texas depicting different percentages of broadband availability. Data collected and mapped by ConnectedTexas.

Almost one million Texans do not have access to high-speed internet access in their homes, but what role do libraries and library workers play in ensuring home connectivity? 

On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. (Central), join Mark Smith, State Librarian and Director of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Eddy Smith, Executive Director of the Abilene Library Consortium and Texas Library Association representative to the Governor’s Broadband Development Council, for a free webinar. They will discuss the current landscape of internet access in Texas. You’ll learn why Texans do not have equitable access to high-speed internet (broadband), what potential solutions—including funding—may exist to level the playing field, and how libraries and library workers can play a role in ensuring a future of statewide connectivity.

Registration for this webinar can be found on our Continuing Education webinars page.

Help Us Build a Map of Free WiFi in Texas

Map of texas with WiFi points; description of joint project between TSLAC, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and Texas Legal Services Center.

Texans need WiFi access and we need your help building an authoritative map of free WiFi locations in Texas!  

If your library offers freely accessible WiFi that individuals can connect to outside as well as inside of the building, we encourage you to fill out the below form. The information you provide will populate a map that will be shared publicly with Texans needing free WiFi access. 

Fill out this short form to add your organization to the map: https://arcg.is/0TOPvu0
*If you have multiple branches for your library location, please fill out the form for each branch.
*Please provide as much specific information about each individual location as possible, including library hours and places where WiFi is easily reachable. Fill out the form as if you were someone who had never visited your library before.
*Help us avoid duplicate submissions by checking to see if your location has already been added. View the live map here

The interactive tool provides Texans with the following information for each WiFi hotspot:

  • Instructions on how to access the WiFi network map
  • WiFi hours of operation
  • Additional nearby services
  • Options to view the map in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, as well as a mobile-friendly version

The form will take less than 5 minutes to complete. We ask that you fill out the form promptly so that we can get the information to those who need it. Together, we can help connect Texans to the internet during a highly sensitive time. 

This is a joint project of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Legal Services Center / TexasLawHelp.com, and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. For more information or for questions, please email the project team at TexasWifiMap@tlsc1.org. If you have library-specific questions, feel free to contact me at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov.

For more information on how libraries can support digital inclusion initiatives like this one, visit https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/tech/digitalinclusion.