This is an exciting moment for the library field! State and federal leaders are prioritizing access to high speed internet connection (broadband) for all citizens.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) will provide $200 million dollars to the Institute of Museum of Library Services, of which $8.3 million will go to Texas. ARPA also allocated $7.172 billion (yes billion) as part of the Emergency Connectivity Fund to ensure that people across the United States can access the internet. Libraries are eligible to apply for this funding, but the rules to do so are still being determined.
Libraries are about to see a massive influx of funding to assist with connectivity, so now is the perfect time to learn how libraries, nonprofits, policymakers, and government leaders are devising actionable, equitable plans to bridge the digital divide. A free weekly Wednesday webinar series from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance will provide just this context. The series began this past Wednesday, April 6 at 12:00 p.m. CT and will run until June 2. Register for one, some, or all at https://www.digitalinclusion.org/net-inclusion-2021-webinar-series/.