State Librarian’s Update
If you haven’t heard by now, New Jersey’s Digital Equity plan is posted for public comment through November 30. The plan lays out the state’s vision and goals related to digital equity, particularly for what the NTIA refers to as covered populations. Public libraries show up prominently in the plan as assets available that assist with broadband access, device access and digital literacy. Your thoughts matter, and I encourage you to review the plan and provide comments.
Similarly, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal Volume 1 and Volume 2 are available for public comment. The Initial Proposal Volume 1 outlines the state’s needs related to broadband access and speed. Public libraries are included as community anchor institutions and, if funding is still available after addressing the state’s first priorities, may be considered for upgrades to achieve gigabit internet speed. Please note that the definition of library as a CAI may need to be updated. Volume 2 outlines the proposed sub-grantee process that will be used by the Office of Broadband Connectivity to make awards. Your opinions and perspective matter, please consider reviewing the proposal and making comments.