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2013 Digital Inclusion Survey Responses

Wednesday, January 8th 2014

Digital Inclusion Issue Brief Released

Tuesday, October 1st 2013
Image courtesy Stew Dean @ Flickr
Digital Inclusion issue brief released!
The newly released Digital Inclusion Issue brief highlights public libraries role as community anchors and showcases their role in supporting digital inclusive communities.

Employment Services Available

Library Employment Services Visualized
Community Attributes and iPAC
Generated with Digital Inclusion survey data this map overlays libraries employment services with current employment rates in the contiguous U.S.

Interactive Map

New interactive map shows first collected surveys!
Our data visualization tool showcases the Sacramento Public Library, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library system, the Carroll County Library system and the Wicomico Public Library system.

Our data visualization tool showcases the Sacramento Public Library, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library system, the Carroll County Library system and the Wicomico Public Library system.  All four of these systems participated in selected portions the survey to provide feedback and assist us in the creation of our preliminary data mapping tool. This tool can become a valuable resource for visualizing data about library systems and their respective communities.  Please take a moment to explore the data map.  At present, the map includes Census data, however, it will be expanded to include health, employment, education, and other data. In addition, the map will be expanded to include all libraries nationwide as well as digital inclusion survey data from libraries that participated in the survey. We are also exploring different views of the map (e.g., at a state level) as well as other features such as printing selected aspects of the mapped data. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Community Attributes Inc. develops web-based applications to interact with spatial data and information that matters to organizations. We are a proud, long-time partner and supporter of public libraries in the U.S. and throughout the world. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, Institute of Library and Museum Services, ESRI, and the public libraries listed that completed portions of the digital inclusion survey.

About

Photo courtesy Alex Proimos via Wikipedia.
Digital Inclusion Survey Launched!
The Digital Inclusion Survey is currently closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Since 1994, the Public Libraries and the Internet and Public Library Funding & Technology Access national surveys charted the progress of public library use of and interaction with the Internet. Findings have included longitudinal data on the numbers of public access computers; availability and speed rates of broadband connectivity, including wireless access; instructional classes on computer and Internet use; availability of online resources; challenges to providing services; and library-provided assistance with E-government transactions, job seeking, and learning at public libraries.

But the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and accompanying services and technologies now makes equitable access to and participation in the online environment essential for success in education, employment, finance, health and wellness, civic engagement, and more. This study focuses on the roles of public libraries in building digitally inclusive communities. Digital inclusion brings together high-speed Internet access, information and communication technologies, and digital literacy in ways that provide opportunities for individuals and communities to succeed in the digital environment.

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).

Equipped with a better understanding of the information access solutions provided at public libraries, the Digital Inclusion study  seeks to address how these services resonate within the context of their surrounding communities.

A key feature of this survey is showing library data in the context of library communities in key areas of education, workforce/employment, health and wellness, civic engagement, and digital literacy. To do this, the more data we have from public library branches, the more we can connect libraries to the context of the communities that they serve. Examples of how we can show libraries in the context of their communities are available here.

 

 
 
 

Digital Inclusion Survey

 
 
 

Rotating Quotes

Robert J. O'Neill, Jr.

Be it helping residents continue their educations, find jobs, improve their career skills, access e-government services, research health information, or connect with family and friends, libraries play an essential role in helping local government meet their greatest challenges by connecting their services to critical community priorities. Partnering with ALA and the University of Maryland on this project will help bring greater understanding and awareness on the role of libraries on the critical issue of digital inclusion.

Robert J. O'Neill, Jr.
Executive Director
International City/County Management Association

Andrea Berstler

Libraries thrive on relevant, current information. The ability to analyze current data as a means of forecasting the future needs of a community or an organization is a major tool utilized by libraries across the county in the work of staying relevant and timely. For small and rural libraries, this struggle is all the more difficult. Lack of resources, time and access to quality data creates an information vacuum where directors and boards make decisions based on incomplete or outdated facts. By being able to access the information from a project built with the resources of ALA and the University of Maryland, small and rural libraries across the country will have proven information for making crucial decisions about the future needs of their communities and how libraries can work to successfully bridge the digital divide.

Andrea Berstler
President
Association for Rural & Small Libraries

Ann Joslin

Our libraries are at the heart of building digitally inclusive communities, and this new survey will help us demonstrate this to our key stakeholders,” said COSLA President Ann Joslin. “I’m excited that new interactive tools will make it easier to connect library and community data like library workforce services and local unemployment rates, library digital literacy initiatives and local graduation rates, and other community demographics. The new survey places libraries in a community context that will make it easier to identify gaps in our services and demonstrate the impacts of our technology resources.

Ann Joslin
President
COSLA
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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