The survey is now closed.
Digital Inclusion Survey
Documenting the impact of public libraries in the digital age is more Important than ever
Research from the Public Library Funding & Technology,1Opportunity for All,2 and Pew Internet3 studies show that libraries are vital digital hubs that provide access to public access technologies and digital content, and that millions of people use those technologies for education, employment, civic engagement, and health purposes and to enhance their digital literacy skills. In doing so, public libraries are essential to the building of digitally inclusive communities.
Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and conducted by the American Library Association (ALA), the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland, and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), this study conducts a national survey of public libraries that explores the digital inclusion roles of public libraries in four key areas:
- Public access technology infrastructure resources and capacity (e.g., public access workstations; broadband connectivity).
- Digital content, services, and accessibility.
- Digital literacy (including languages in which instruction is offered).
- Domains-specific services and programs (civic engagement, education, health and wellness, and workforce/employment).
Participation in the survey is critical to demonstrating the significant impacts that public libraries have in building digitally inclusive communities, and will enable libraries to:
- Identify the impacts of public computer and Internet access on the community.
- Show library public access technology services in terms of key community demographics.
- Identify gaps in public access technology services based on community needs.
- Demonstrate library contributions to community digital inclusion efforts.
- Support efforts to inform and educate stakeholders – policymakers, foundations, elected officials, trustees, and the media – about the value of libraries in building digitally inclusive communities.
The study builds on the work conducted by IMLS, ICMA, and the University of Washington in developing a Digital Inclusion Framework, and serves as a complement to the IMLS Public Library Survey that collects data (e.g., bugdget, FTE) about public libraries annually.
1 Hoffman, Judy, John Carlo Bertot, and Denise M. Davis. (2012). Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011-2012. Digital supplement of American Libraries magazine.
2 Becker, Samantha, Michael D. Crandall, Karen E. Fisher, Rebecca Blakewood, Bo Kinney, and Cadi Russell-Sauvé. (2011). Opportunity for All: How Library Policies and Pracfices Impact Public Internet Access (IMLS-2011-RES-01). Institute of Museum and Library Services. Washington, D.C.
3 Zickuhr, Kathryn, Lee Rainie, and Kristen Purcell. (2013). Libary Services in the Digital Age. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Washington, DC.