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 survey asked if libraries participated in the E-rate program and what their internet broadband speeds were. The survey results will allow libraries to compare their speeds to similar libraries and advocate for greater speeds from service providers.
Iowa had an excellent participation rate in the survey thanks to the public librarians who took the time to complete the survey, as well as the hard work of State Library district staff who encouraged and followed up with libraries to participate. Thank you!
Survey Results Infographic
The infographic below shows highlights from the survey results. Scroll to the end of the page for a text version of the survey takeaways.
Digital Inclusion Survey Maps
One goal for the survey results was to create useful maps that libraries could use to compare internet speeds and get a better sense of the broadband landscape in their location.
The maps below show the state divided into the six Library Support Network districts, with 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.
Thanks to Gary Krob at the State Data Center who generated the maps from the survey responses.
Libraries that did not participate in the first round of responses are welcome to fill out the survey which remains open. Please contact your district office staff to request participation instructions. The maps will be updated periodically as more responses are added.
Survey Takeaways (from Infographic)
- 269 libraries participates (out of 544 public libraries total), a 49% response rate.
- Library Types Response Breakdown:
- 7 Cities
- 60 Towns
- 189 Rural
- 12 Suburban
- 38 libraries out of 269 have internet speeds of 25 mbps or greater (the Federal standard for broadband). That’s 14%.
- 137 libraries out of 269 have internet speeds of 9 mbps or greater. That’s 51%.
- 100 libraries applied for the federal E-rate program for discounts on phone and internet service.