The 2009 Public Libraries and the Internet Study (as part of the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study) funded by the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was opened to libraries for participation September 8, 2009. The project is managed and directed by Denise Davis and Larra Clark of the ALA Office of Research and Statistics, and the survey is directed by John Bertot at the University of Maryland College Park’s Center for Library & Information Innovation.
Results from the 2008 survey have already been coming out these last months to inform the Broadband Stimulus debates, library assistance with jobs, and library assistance with e-government. You can find recently released issue briefs and other useful data at the study website (http://www.ala.org/plinternetfunding). The current context makes the data from these surveys even more important, and we hope you will participate in this year’s survey so that this information is complete and widely available.
A few things:
1. The survey is web-based (http://www.plinternetsurvey.org). A postcard announcing the survey’s availability and study information went out libraries in late August.
2. The goal of the project is to be able to analyze data for all 50 states plus DC. Last year 45 states, including Vermont, and the District of Columbia participated. Any assistance in boosting the response rate in your state will be much appreciated. The survey managers are very aware of survey fatigue and the current climate regarding library budgets, but hope you will help out.
3. For states in Round 1, 2, and 3 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program: Libraries in the Program are required to participate in the survey. There is coordination with the program liaisons to ensure that process works effectively, and a separate reporting/tracking system for the liaisons has been developed a to manage this process.
Thanks in advance to all — and don’t hesitate to contact John Bertot, the survey manager with questions: