Earlier this month, the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICFL) launched the “online @ your library” program, using the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ @ your library brand. The program’s goal is to provide free broadband access to Internet-based resources in public libraries throughout Idaho.
“Online @ your library” provides funding to at least 55 public libraries (about 40 percent of public libraries in Idaho) with broadband Internet access, increased bandwidth, new public access computers, subscriptions to online resources and training for library staff.
“The project is about ‘your library’ as the place to go for access to information, online or on the shelf,” said Gens Johnson, consultant and project manager with the Idaho Commission for Libraries. “Using the @ your library brand makes perfect sense for this project.”
Johnson also remarked that the @ your library brand has strong and positive brand recognition with Idaho libraries.
The ICFL designed “online @ your library” to create more competitive rural communities in a state that is the seventh most rural, with 18.1 people per square mile. “Online @ your library” reminds communities of the role libraries play in helping the public access free electronic information; sixty-nine percent of Idaho public libraries report that they are the only access point to free Internet in their communities.
“Just helping the libraries get the broadband connectivity in place is a giant step in closing the technology gap,” said Johnson.
“Online @ your library” will provide educational resources to promote digital literacy to residents of all ages. A key feature in the program is technology training for adults; each participating library is required to partner with its regional adult basic education center and the Idaho Department of Labor to create workshops introducing adults to educational resources and online job seeking tools.
Another key feature is the training provided to librarians and library staff in building their individual programs. Training will include the maintenance of their public access computing centers, sustainability and online collections and services that will be available as a result of this project.
Funding for “online @ your library” is provided as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). BTOP is administered by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA). BTOP was created with a goal of expanding broadband access and adoption to unserved or underserved populations. ICFL was awarded more than $1.9 million dollars to create and implement “online @ your library.”
The Campaign for America’s Libraries is the American Library Association’s (ALA) public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe – use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.
To download the @ your library brand for use in library materials, visit www.ala.org/@yourlibrary/logos.
For photos of the launch go to the Flickr site.