Simmons College, Open Technology Institute, Internet2 Awarded Grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services
BOSTON, Mass., WASHINGTON, D.C., April 23, 2018 – Simmons College’s School of Library & Information Science, along with New America's Open Technology Institute and Internet2, have received an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) FY2018 National Leadership Grants for Libraries award. Their 24-month research project, “Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform (LG-71-18-0110-18),” will examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S.
Assistant professor Colin Rhinesmith is principal investigator for the project. "Public libraries across the U.S today need access to accurate, reliable data in order to respond to their communities’ growing demand for broadband-enabled applications and services.” Rhinesmith says, “Our project addresses this need by working with public librarians and library network administrators to develop the broadband measurement tools and training they need to best support their communities’ networked information needs."
The project will gather quantitative and qualitative data from public libraries across the country about broadband speeds, quality of service, infrastructure, network usage and capacity and connectivity needs, among other factors. Findings from the research will be used to create the project’s three deliverables: an open-source and replicable broadband measurement platform; a broadband measurement platform training manual for public librarians; and a final report on the project.
“America’s public libraries remain a cornerstone of educational opportunity in communities all across our country in part by providing all citizens with unfettered access to high quality and high capacity broadband services,” said James Werle, executive director, Internet2 Community Anchor Program. “The Internet2 community is proud to partner with Simmons College and New America's Open Technology Institute to measure broadband speeds at libraries and gather more accurate data on broadband performance to help inform libraries, policy makers, and researchers.”
“New America's Open Technology Institute is excited to partner with Simmons, Internet2, and IMLS to build an accessible and usable broadband measurement system to support the work of libraries nationwide," said Chris Ritzo, senior technologist at the Open Technology Institute. "Using participatory design with library staff, we'll build a system that will both enable libraries to automate the longitudinal measurement of their broadband quality and also complement the research on broadband undertaken in the library community to date."
“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”
About Simmons College
Simmons College (www.simmons.edu) is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. Founded in 1899, Simmons is the only undergraduate women’s college in Boston, and maintains a history of visionary thinking and a focus on social responsibility. The college offers world-class coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, including physical therapy and nutrition; education; behavior analysis; library and information science; management; and social work. The School of Library and Information Science started the same year as the College and may be the only American library school so related to the origin of its parent institution. Follow Simmons on Twitter at @SimmonsCollege and the School of Library and Information Science at @SimmonsSLIS
About Open Technology Institute
The Open Technology Institute (OTI) works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits. OTI promotes universal access to communications technologies that are both open and secure, using a multidisciplinary approach that brings together advocates, researchers, organizers, and innovators. For more information, visit www.newamerica.org/oti
Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 328 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions, over 900 InCommon participants, and 69 leading corporations working with our community, and 61 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.
Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.
About Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Sara Aly, Internet2
Alison Yost, Open Technology Institute
Jeremy Solomon, Simmons College