Institute public library report highlights broadband needs

Florida public library outlets and K-12 public schools reported inadequate connection speeds and insufficient workstations to serve patrons in a needs assessment report recently issued by the Information Use Management Policy Institute at The Florida State University College of Communication & Information. The research, funded by a contract from the State Library and Archives of Florida, found that broadband services in Florida public libraries were inadequate for E-government and emergency/disaster management needs of patrons because of current Internet connectivity costs and speeds. While current economic conditions are forcing more Florida residents to use libraries for completing online job applications, for undertaking tasks required by government agencies, and for assistance during emergencies and disasters, public libraries lack adequate broadband speeds and bandwidth, equipment, and technical staff.

The Information Institute report was used by State Library and Archives of Florida to produce a grant application submitted to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.