Monthly Archives: April 2018

Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform

I am incredibly honored and excited to announce that last week I received an IMLS National Leadership Grant (#LG-71-18-0110-18) to work with my amazing colleagues Georgia Bullen and Chris Ritzo at New America’s Open Technology Institute and James Werle at Internet2 for the next two years to examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S.

Here’s the description of the project from the IMLS website:

“Simmons College, along with New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Internet2, will examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S. The project will gather quantitative and qualitative data from public libraries across the country to 1) understand the broadband speeds and quality of service that public libraries receive; 2) assess how well broadband service and infrastructure are supporting their communities’ digital needs; 3) understand broadband network usage and capacity; and 4) increase their knowledge of networked services and connectivity needs. The project deliverables include an open source and replicable broadband measurement platform, training manual to help public librarians use that platform, and a final report on the project.”

Visit the IMLS website to download our program materials to learn more about the project.

 

An Ethics of Care for Digital Equity

We had a great pre-conference workshop, titled “New Ways of Thinking About Digital Equity” at the Net Inclusion Summit in Cleveland yesterday. The workshop was organized and sponsored by the Center for Digital Inclusion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences, where I received my PhD and was affiliated as a Research Scholar. It was a real honor to join a panel with such distinguished and talented individuals, including Emily Knox, CM! Winters, and Barbara Jones.

During the workshop, I presented an ethics of care framework for digital equity based on a paper that Dr. Miriam Sweeney and I published in Information, Communication, & Society last year, titled “Creating Caring Institutions for Community Informatics.” At the end of the presentation we had a great break-out session in which we asked folks in the room to respond to the following questions:

  • Where does ethics of care already exist? How does it exist and who is involved? What kind of training is happening in different disciplines producing infomediaries?
  • Where are the gaps in training for care?
  • How do we integrate an ethics of care into practice and prioritize it along with digital inclusion (i.e., access, skills and content)?
  • How might we emphasize the human rather than the technological aspects of digital equity?

Here are some of the responses and wonderful ideas from the workshop below.