May 13, 2020

Tell Congress We Need Digital Equity

Today, we need your help. ALA and PLA are calling on Congress to dedicate emergency funding to address the lack of home broadband access for millions of Americans. Can we ask you to contact your Senators today?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought long-overdue attention to digital inequity, which cuts across rural, urban, tribal, and suburban communities and affects students, families, adult learners, those who can work from home, and (increasingly) those who have lost their jobs. People are scrambling to figure out how to manage the now-virtual world.
As you may have read last week in the American Libraries’ blog, momentum is increasing in both the House and Senate. The “Emergency Education Connections Act” calls for funding for hotspots, routers, modems, and other connected devices such as laptops to be incorporated into the next COVID-19 relief package and funneled through the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program. Public libraries (as well as tribal libraries, K–12 schools, and tribal schools) would be eligible for funding.
We need your help to encourage forward motion and to remind Congress that public libraries are dedicated partners in the mission to support digital equity. Please take five minutes to tweet your Senators today. Not on social media? No problem—send an email instead.
With billions of dollars at stake, this is the opportunity to tell your Senators why it is critical for libraries to be funded and empowered to get our communities online.
Thank you for your advocacy, and for all you do to help communities thrive.