This is a day that I have been enthusiastically anticipating since meeting with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski more than a year ago. The Chairman and his team know that too many people lack access to broadband Internet, and they know that libraries are essential to get “EveryoneOn.”
A National Campaign
Today, the nonprofit Connect2Compete is launching a national campaign inspired by the FCC. EveryoneOn is a public awareness effort designed to help all Americans access free digital literacy training in their libraries and community centers. Connect2Compete will also offer consumers access to programs providing discounted high-speed Internet and low-cost computers.
Be on the lookout for a number of television, radio, print, and Internet advertisements about EveryoneOn in the coming weeks and months thanks to the AdCouncil, which will be communicating the value of digital literacy and driving people to the EveryoneOn.org website or helpline (1-855-EVRY1ON).
The Role for Libraries
Libraries are already stepping up to this challenge. Eighty-three percent of them offer informal training in digital literacy, helping people learn how to use computers, navigate the web, and find the best and most useful information. And 44 percent offer formal classes.
Here at IMLS we are working with a host of library partners including the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, OCLC’s Web Junction, and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies to help libraries test innovative ideas to support digital literacy programs and to develop an online collection of digital literacy resources that will be accessible to libraries, patrons, and other community-based organizations.
A toolkit for libraries is available at the EveryoneOn website, along with background information, posters, and communications tips, A webinar for libraries that want to participate will be announced soon.
We know that for millions of Americans a local library has helped open new possibilities for education, workforce development, and civic participation, and we’re pleased to be partners in this effort.
You can follow the campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EveryoneOn or through Twitter at https://twitter.com/everyone_on. To view the PSA, visit www.EveryoneOn.adcouncil.org. And to learn more visit www.EveryoneOn.org.