I was going to talk about this topic on our statewide Zoom so here goes an attempt to get all the info out in an email.
As a reminder, we have been working with the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) to build Maine's Digital Equity Plan that is the first step to securing federal funding that will support organizations (including libraries) doing digital equity work (think broadband access, technology access, and digital skills). We've been asked to help promote a broadband survey that is geared toward the public (your patrons).
My Ask for You? Please encourage patrons to fill out the survey. How can you do this? The survey is available online and there is a pdf on the website which you can download and print for your patrons https://www.maineconnectivity.org/planning. If anyone would like to have a packet of surveys, please let me know and I can coordinate that with MCA. Any hard copies you collect can be returned to me via van delivery. The deadline for surveys is April 14.
If you can encourage patrons to fill out the survey you can use this language from the survey itself to explain what the survey is about
The Maine Connectivity Authority is developing a statewide Broadband Action Plan for Maine. The plan will identify priorities for investment in broadband infrastructure and digital equity to advance our goal of ensuring that everyone in Maine can benefit from access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.
To develop that plan, we are collecting feedback from Maine people, communities, businesses, and organizations to identify areas of need and their priorities for this generational investment in high-speed internet access. Please take the Maine Broadband Survey below!
Please email me with questions!
While anyone can and should fill it out, they are specifically trying to reach the "covered populations" that must be included as part of the required outreach MCA must do as part of their planning grant proposal. These are the covered populations
* Low income households (150% of federal poverty guidelines)
* Older adults
* Incarcerated/formerly incarcerated individuals
* Those with a language barrier, including English language learners or have low literacy levels
* Individuals with disabilities
* Members of racial/ethnic group minority
MCA is also working on making the survey available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Khmer, Kinyarwanda , Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Espaņol-Spanish , Swahili, Ukrainian. Vietnamese. Spanish will be ready first but if there is a language you are interested in, let me know and we can request that language be a priority.
Thank you in advance. Send questions my way.
Marijke Visser (she/her)
Director, Library Development
Maine State Library