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Technology

Advocating for digital inclusion.

Digital Inclusion and Broadband Access

Anyone who has been frustrated watching the rotating color wheel spin on a computer screen fully understands the importance of high-speed internet connections.

  • 94% of Texans do not have access to adequate internet speeds at their public libraries
  • In 60% of our communities, public libraries are the ONLY PLACE where people can access teh internet for free
  • In 2014, 73 million Texans visited a public library and logged 26 million internet sessions.

However, broadband is extremely expensive, prohibitively so for many small, community libraries. High-speed internet can cost between $24,000 and $48,000 per year, per location. Those costs can be reduced to $6,000 to $12,000 per year, a 75% average discount for public libraries that access the federal E-Rate program. Prior to the 2017 Texas Legislative Session, only 23% of Texas public libraries received E-Rate discounts, compared to 65% of all U.S. public libraries.

E-Resources

In today’s knowledge-based economy, access to information is vital to success. Texans need access to broad educational resources to help them fill the growing number of STEM jobs. Shared online content is a proven effective means of providing access to digital content for students and the public.

Quality and current digital resources, especially in the areas of science and technology, are among the most expensive materials needed in public libraries, high schools and colleges.

TLA 2019, April 15 - 18, Austin

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