2011 National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access

Dear Library Director:

Since 2006, the American Library Association, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has conducted a national study of public library public access funding and technology. This Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study builds on previous studies conducted since 1994.

We thank you for your participation in the past, and hope that you will continue to participate in these important surveys. Last year, the study sampled and received responses from all states and the District of Columbia, however, the survey did not receive enough responses from four states for analysis purposes. Our goal for this year is full participation by all 50 states, which will provide the greatest impact for advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national levels.

Data from the study will help your library:

  1. •Identify the impacts of your library’s public computer and Internet access on the community; •
  2. Benchmark your library’s public access technologies, and communicate progress and challenges to your funders; and,
  3. •Support efforts to inform and educate stakeholders – policymakers, foundations, elected officials, trustees, and the media – about the value of libraries and issues related to sustaining public library technology services.

Recent study data has been cited in hundreds of media outlets including USA Today, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and Huffington Post. Data has been used in Congressional and state-level testimony, as well as in comments to agencies like the Federal Communications Commission.

The study produces a range of advocacy tools such as PR templates, issue briefs, handouts, mashups, and more from the data you provide. Produced collaboratively by the ALA and the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland, these tools can be accessed via http://www.ala.org/plinternetfunding. Again, we greatly appreciate your participation and look forward to sharing the results of the survey and additional research beginning in 2012.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY(S) by November 11, 2011, by going to: http://www.plinternetsurvey.org/

The national public library survey t is managed by the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland. Please call or e-mail the Information Policy & Access Center at (301) 405-9445 or support@ipac.umd.edu with any questions you might have regarding the survey.

You may also direct questions to me:

Rob Geiszler
Library Development Consultant
Vermont Department of Libraries
271 North Main Street
Rutland, VT 05701
(802) 786-3839