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Public library survey on Internet services and funding extended to Nov. 18

CHICAGO - Study managers have extended the participation deadline for the 2011-2012 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study online survey to Nov. 18. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association, the survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information regarding computer and Internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training and other uses of public libraries, such as providing public access technology centers in their communities. Libraries are encouraged to log on now at www.plinternetsurvey.org.

Recent study findings have been cited in hundreds of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Government Technology and Fast Company. Data has informed the National Broadband Plan and been used in congressional and state-level testimony, as well as in comments to national agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission.

In addition to national data, the research team is able to produce state-level analysis for all states where there is an adequate and representative response rate. One-page state summaries on employment and e-government services in public libraries also are available for these states.

The strength of the study as an advocacy tool rests on the level of participation,” said Judy Hoffman, project manager for the American Library Association Office for Research and Statistics. “We encourage libraries to contribute to the survey and then use the data to raise awareness of the library’s diverse resources and the successes and challenges in meeting community needs.”

The study continues work begun by John Carlo Bertot and Charles R. McClure in 1994. The survey is managed by the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland.

More information, including results from the 2010-2011 study, is available at www.ala.org/plinternetfunding. Related news, insights and free resources from the study are available on the study blog – Libraries Connect Communities– and Twitter feed (ala_ors).

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