Iowa was selected to take part in a program titled the Library E-rate and Planning program (LEAP) sponsored by the American Library Association. As part of the program, Iowa libraries were given a chance to participate in the Digital Inclusion Survey conducted by the University of Maryland. The results of the survey are now available and will allow libraries to compare their speeds to similar libraries and advocate for greater speeds from service providers.
The survey asked if libraries participated in the E-rate program and what their internet broadband speeds were. Iowa had an excellent response rate, with nearly half of all Iowa public libraries responding to the survey. The 269 respondent libraries represented an accurate cross section of library types as well, with city, town, suburban, and rural libraries included in the results.
The survey data also allowed the creation of maps by the State Data Center to compare internet speeds for libraries to get a better sense of the broadband landscape in their area. The maps, divided into the six Library Support Network districts, show responding libraries’ broadband speeds represented in different sizes and colors of text. Libraries can use this information to advocate for greater speeds or better service from internet providers in order to meet the needs of the community.
The survey remains open for libraries that did not participate in the first round of responses; libraries can contact their district office staff to request survey instructions.
Click here for more information and to download the Digital Inclusion Survey Maps.