Category Archives: Future of Libraries

Investigating Rural Library Hotspot Lending Programs

I am excited to announce that my colleagues, Dr. Sharon Strover (University of Texas at Austin), Dr. Brian Whitacre (Oklahoma State University) and I received a $496,586 grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services for our research project, titled “At the Edges of the National Digital Platform: Rural Library Hotspot Lending Programs.”

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

Investigators at the University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with researchers at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, will use their research grant to examine how rural libraries address the challenges of Internet connectivity with hotspot lending programs. The project will gather qualitative and quantitative data from 24 rural libraries with hotspot lending program experience, focusing on the librarians involved with the program, the users of the program, local community stakeholders, and non-users. Research outcomes will address the role of rural libraries in local information ecosystems, the impact of hotspot lending programs on users’ quality of life and digital literacy, community outcomes of these programs, and practical requirements for offering hotspot lending programs. Deliverables for the project include a guidelines document on program implementation, a short report on rural Internet connectivity and libraries, and a final research report.

Beyond Library Walls

Beyond Library Walls

I’m excited to announce that Chris Ritzo and I have submitted a proposal to the Knight News Challenge, which is focused on the following question “How might we leverage libraries as platform to build more knowledgeable communities?”

Please read our proposal, entitled Beyond Library Walls introduced below and, if you like it, consider applauding the project.  Thanks in advance!

Beyond Library Walls will address the severe weather information needs of Oklahoma’s communities by broadening the library’s human and digital networks to include those without broadband Internet access. Our project will embrace library assets as a starting point for developing community-controlled infrastructure and software applications with residents, for residents in need of severe weather information. Beyond Library Walls will also respond to the information resources and digital capacities that non-native English speakers have identified they need before, during, and after severe weather events.

Read the full submission, here.