WASHINGTON, December 29, 2009 – The American Library Association, along with other supporters of broadband build-out, has asked the government agency charged with distributing broadband stimulus funds to allocate more money for public computer centers.
“Eighty-one percent of public libraries say that they do not have sufficient computer capacity to meet the needs of their patrons,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, in a statement. “We believe obtaining additional funding through the Public Computer Center program would equip libraries to continue meeting the needs of the public,” she said.
In a letter addressed to Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling the library association asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to increase the funding as part of its second round of grants for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
The groups said the funding boost is needed to help public libraries and community colleges expand their Internet access capabilities and to encourage the purchase of computers and other technology hardware.