BTOP update

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As the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) wraps up the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant project, we continue to get the word out about online resources, evaluate the project’s impact, and support libraries’ efforts to bridge the digital divide.

Two resources for libraries that have recently been added are the do-it-yourself Social Media Kit and the three-minute “Libraries and Economic Development” video:

  • The Social Media Kit, at http://libraries.idaho.gov/files/Social-Media-Kit_final.pdf, is a foundation for libraries to author their policies regarding social media. It offers best practices, hints, and information on successfully using Facebook and Pinterist as marketing/media tools.
  • The “Libraries and Economic Development” video was developed as part of a collection of resources for library staff and trustees to promote libraries as anchor institutions and can be found at http://youtu.be/NdOCj9P7D_E. A DVD of the video is gradually being distributed to public libraries at various trainings.

As broadband connectivity libraries reflect on the BTOP project, some note that faster computers and Internet have given patrons an opportunity to further their education, helped library users find jobs, and encouraged more people of all ages to use computers for a variety of activities. Many public libraries say training on the E-Rate application process has enabled them to obtain funding that helps ensure the sustainability of their public access computing. And they note that people have become more aware of the services that public libraries offer them.

Idaho’s libraries are vital in bridging the digital divide. Moving forward, we will continue to look for ways to leverage the benefits and resources gained from the BTOP project to strengthen libraries’ ability to meet this challenge.

See some highlights of Idaho’s BTOP project in the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy’s report, "U.S. Public Libraries and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.”

See more about the BTOP project at http://libraries.idaho.gov/online.