The following is a press release from the federal Institute of Museum
and Library Services (IMLS). Having trouble viewing this e-mail? Read it
online at
<> .


March 10, 2011 

IMLS Press Contacts
Mamie Bittner, [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
Natasha Marstiller, [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  

Public Access Technology Needed to Build Strong Communities

IMLS Responds to National Broadband Plan Recommendation to Develop
for Libraries and Community-Based Organizations

Washington, DC-"What are the characteristics of a successful
digitally-inclusive community?" Over 70 organizations
<>  with deep
knowledge about public access technology and the diverse educational and
information needs of communities will spend the next few weeks
considering that question.

These organizations will contribute to IMLS's response to the National
Broadband Plan <> , which called on the
agency to develop tools for communities to use to assess their needs for
public access technology. The Plan recognized the essential role of
libraries and community- based organizations in expanding broadband
adoption and use.

"We know that millions of people depend upon public access technology in
libraries and community-based organizations to address fundamental civic
needs, from finding work and getting an education to accessing
government services and locating health information," said IMLS Director
Susan Hildreth. "Working together we will develop tools that communities
can use to make smart decisions to meet the complex information needs of
the diverse American public."

IMLS is working in partnership with the University of Washington
Information School and the International City/County Management
Association to engage a broad range of stakeholders in the development
of a framework that will help public and private funders make critical
investments in public access technology. These 70 organizations will be
building on work begun by a 16-member working group
<>  that met in Washington, DC
in January to identify the principles, elements, and characteristics of
organizations and communities that foster digital inclusion.

A subsequent phase of the process, estimated to be in late spring and
summer of 2011, will include a combination of a call for public comments
and town meetings in order to solicit additional input and to highlight
promising practices.

For more information please see
<> . 

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services 
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of
federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that
connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the
national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to
sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and
innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about
the Institute, please visit <> .