As you know, advocating for universal broadband is a personal passion and a high priority of my ALA presidency. ALA is launching a series of one-on-one conversations on Instagram Live with library practitioners who are keeping their communities connected with high-speed broadband, technology and digital skills training. This is a personal invitation to join me for the first of this new bimonthly series, Connectivity Corner, on Friday, September 17, 1:00-1:45 CDT. I'll be talking with Chris Martinez, Division Director of Information Technology at Harris County (Texas) Public Library (HCPL), about his library's efforts to connect the 13.6 percent of households in their county without internet access. We'll discuss his recent application for 40,000 hotspots and 15,000 Chromebooks through the Emergency Connectivity Fund, a new FCC program to help schools and libraries provide tools and services for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. (Early this year ALA advocated intensively for this $7.2 billion program, passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.)
You can access the Connectivity Corner conversations by navigating to ALA's Instagram account (@americanlibraryassociation), using either the Instagram app or a desktop browser, and clicking on the Live icon when the event begins.
I hope that you'll join me – live from my new home in Santa Clara! – in what I hope will be a conversation that spotlights the innovation of library professionals and inspires in the field. Feel free to share this series by reposting from ALA's social media channels:
See you there!
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