November 22, 2017

ALA Gets $950K Gates Grant To Help with E-Rate

By Norman Oder

  • Many libraries don’t apply for E-Rate
  • Libraries will get training and consulting services
  • ALA also seeks simplication of application process

A $950,000 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant will help the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) develop and provide training and consulting services for libraries facing the cumbersome E-Rate telecommunication discount application process. “Because of the complexity of the E-Rate program, many individual libraries don’t even apply for funding or are denied funding for simple errors,” said Linda Lord, deputy state librarian of Maine and chair of ALA’s E-Rate Task Force, in a <news release>

 The E-Rate is the biggest single source of funding for library telecommunications and information services, according to ALA, which notes that even though nearly all U.S. public libraries provide Internet access, many lack sufficient bandwidth. ALA also will continue to call for simplification of E-Rate application and disbursement processes.

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