Category Archives: Articles and Information

How to Observe: Ask First!



Stack of three wooden cubes with blue question marks on themFrom Library Research Service (LRS)

Welcome back! We left off talking about why you would use observations to collect data. Observation can be a great data collection tool when you want to see how different people interact with each other, a space, or a passive program. Observation is also helpful when it is difficult for someone to answer a question accurately, like when you ask them to remember something they did or—particularly with children—if you ask them to give critical or written feedback, both of which can be developmentally inappropriate.

To review, our big research question is: “Does attending storytime help caregivers use new literacy skills at home?” Our small questions within that big question are:

  • Were caregivers already using literacy skills at home prior to attending a storytime?
  • Are caregivers learning new literacy skills during storytime?
  • Do caregivers use new literacy skills from storytime at home?

After thinking through these in our last post, we decided that it would be both helpful and realistic to observe caregivers and their children in the library. This won’t tell us about caregivers’ behavior at home, but it’s not an option for us to follow them around their homes. While observing caregivers in the library won’t tell us what they are doing at home, it still helps us see if they’re learning skills during storytime that they’re using outside of storytime.

Ok, so how would we actually do this? Here are the key elements of any observation:

  • Get permission from your participants
  • Decide how you will approach the observation
  • Focus in on some specific things you’re looking for
  • Take notes or videos of what you’re observing
  • Code the notes or video to identify patterns

For the rest of this blog post, we will focus on the first point. It’s important to get started on the right foot.

Why is getting permission important?

We’ve discussed informed consent before in this blog series, and it is still important with observations. If you came to your library and a staff member followed you around the whole time without an explanation, it would feel weird and even invasive. Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, if people know we’re watching, they’re going to act differently!” You’re exactly right. But the reality is, people are going to know you’re observing them no matter what. Even if you think you could soundlessly skulk around the stacks, most people are going to sense something weird is going on.

Remember–we don’t want to be creepy when we’re doing research! Watching people without asking their permission is 1) pretty creepy, 2) not good for building and maintaining trust with our users, and 3) violates one of our core library values of privacy. Ethically, we have to ask people if it’s ok to observe them while they’re in the library, even if it does change their behavior.

How do you ask permission to observe?

In this example, you could explain at storytime that you’re doing a research project to improve storytime. You are looking for some volunteers who spend time at the library outside of storytime to let you observe them interact with their child. If they are interested, you have a form they can sign, and the next time they’re hanging out at the library, you’d like them to come say “hi” at the desk in the children’s area. That way your staff know when they are in the library and the staff member observing them can introduce themselves too, which makes the whole thing less awkward.

As part of the informed consent process, remember that you need to address both that the participants can stop participating at any time, for any reason, and how you will protect their privacy. These elements are particularly important during an observation of caregivers and children. What identifying information do you absolutely need? The more anonymous the data can be, the better. Make sure you also establish a clear and easy way for the caregiver to end the observation while it is happening.

In the next blog post in this series, we will explore the different approaches to observation. After you’ve gotten permission, how do you actually sit, watch, and collect meaningful data? Join us next time to find out!

LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs.

News in Brief



Wyoming State Historical Society Releases New Book
The Wyoming State Historical Society and its fundraising arm, the Wyoming Historical Foundation, have released a new book, Wyoming History in Art. This full-color book features thirty paintings of important people and events in Wyoming history by the late artist Dave Paulley.  In 1989 the Society and the Foundation commissioned the artist to create the original paintings in celebration of Wyoming’s centennial. A limited number of copies are available; contact the Wyoming State Historical Society at (307) 322-3014 or linda@wyshs.org.

Join Library Journal for Library Design Online November 30
Whether you’re looking to revamp your space or plan for future building/design projects, you’ll find ideas, information, and inspiration at Library Design Online. This free, online virtual event will feature noted architects and vendors in library design who’ll address design trends, spotlight case studies, and answer pressing questions from the field. If your library is facing its own design challenge, submit it by October 14 for consideration as a breakout session focus.

Celebrate International Games Week 2021 from November 7-13
International Games Week (IGW) will take place from November 7 to November 13, 2021.  Libraries of all stripes around the world are encouraged to sign up between now and October 24 and US registrants will be eligible for a drawing for one of three special GameRT Loot Boxes. While GameRT encourages participants to hold a gaming event at their Library during IGW, due to the pandemic, any event held during the month of November can be counted. This year, GameRT will be spotlighting freely available print-and-play games and listing resources available for libraries to use to set up gaming events online at games.ala.org.

Tips to Stop Sexual Harassment in Your Library
Your library should already have a policy on sexual harassment in the workplace, but harassment doesn’t always come from coworkers. Do your employees have the tools and trainig they need to handle patrons who behave inappropriately? This article from American Libraries offers good information on this topic, including links to slides and handouts from an American Library Association conference session on this topic.

Skills for Community-Centered Libraries Curriculum Available
The Free Library of Philadelphia has created the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries curriculum. The materials are available for free so that all libraries can access and implement it with their own staff. Staff will develop skills in identifying neighborhood assets, facilitating community meetings, understanding emerging neighborhood trends, and enhancing the library’s community engagement initiatives.

Preparing for Natural Disasters and Preserving Community History
“How Libraries Can Prepare for Natural Disasters and Preserve History” is an online guide published by Syracuse University. This resource discusses the roles libraries play in community historic preservation with statistics on the sources of damage to collections at cultural institutions. It also outlines steps librarians and individuals should take to prepare for disasters and provides a list of external recovery resources.

YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten Voting is Open
TeensTop Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of  the previous year. Encourage your teens (age 12-18) to check out the 2021 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees in time to cast their vote by October 15. Applications for the next set of Teens’ Top Ten book groups are also now open.

Relaunch of AdLit.org Website and Newsletter
AdLit.org announced a relaunch of its highly successful website and newsletter, funded by a grant from the National Education Association (NEA). This resource contains everything related to adolescent literacy: books and booklists, authors, research and best practices, practical tips, and more for families and those working with struggling teen readers or teens whose primary language is not English.

School Library Investigation – Decline or Evolution? (SLIDE)
SLIDE is an exploratory project that will uncover patterns in and causes of the national decline in school librarian positions. Read this informative blog post from Joyce Valenza of Rutgers University summarizing the progress and findings so far of this research project. This project, led by Debra E. Kachel of Antioch University and Keith Curry Lance of the RSL Research Group, will help us understand the factors behind the decline (it’s not all about money) and the students that are most impacted by the loss of high-quality library programs.

Children’s Book Week is Nov. 8 – 14, 2021
Librarians, booksellers, organization leaders, and those with kids at home are invited to join the fun by participating in Children’s Book Week. This year’s slogan, Reading is a Superpower, invites young people to take an active role in celebrating.

ALA Calls for 2022 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award Nominations
The American Library Association is calling for nominations for the 2022 L. Ray Patterson Award.Appropriate nominees for the Patterson Award are persons or groups who have made significant and consistent contributions in the areas of academia, law, politics, public policy, libraries or library education to the pursuit of copyright principles. Nominations will be accepted through November 1, 2021.

Wyoming Humanities is New Home for the Wyoming Center for the Book



Library of Congress Center for the Book Wyoming Affiliate logoThis month, the Library of Congress Center for the Book gave official approval for Wyoming Humanities to assume responsibilities for the Wyoming Center for the Book (WCFTB).

A part of the state since 1995, WCFTB had been headquartered under the Wyoming State Library.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to take on this new opportunity,” said Shawn Reese, executive director of Wyoming Humanities. “This allows us to strengthen our commitment to programming and partnerships across the state in celebration of Wyoming readers and our state’s literary heritage.”

Lucas Fralick will serve as the organization’s coordinator for this project.

In the past, WCFTB has been responsible for numerous literary-related events across the state, including Letters About Literature, Wyoming book festivals, and a Wyoming authors wiki.

This fall, Letters About Literature will return to Wyoming, continuing the project’s legacy to engage students and schools in the excitement of the written word. Students in grades 4-12 are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write to the author about how the book affected them personally.

Wyoming Humanities is currently exploring additional new projects to broaden the reach and depth of projects and events throughout the state.

WCFTB information will soon be found at thinkwy.org. For more information about any of these projects, contact Fralick at lucas@thinkwy.org or 307-660-0729.

Banned Books Week: Books Unite, Censorship Divides



Illustration of two hands holding book in front of world globe with text "Books Unite Us." Below reads "Censorship Divides Us"From the American Library Association

At a time when LGBTQIA+ books and books that focus on racism and racial justice are challenged for removal from library and school bookshelves, this year’s Banned Books Week, September 26 – Oct. 2, is a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship. This year’s theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” and it underscores how books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers.

Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community, including librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types, supporting the freedom to seek out, read and express ideas, even ideas that contain uncomfortable truths.

In 2020, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services, affecting 273 books. The office also noted a focus on demands to remove books that addressed racism and racial justice or those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color.

Award-winning bestselling author Jason Reynolds is the inaugural Banned Books Week 2021 Honorary Chair. Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people. Recently two of Reynolds’ books, All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely) and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (with Ibram X. Kendi), were among the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020. Readers can join Reynolds for a live-streamed conversation on Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. MDT on the Banned Books Week Facebook page. Reynolds will discuss censorship, young people’s literature, and the ways that books bring people together. The Banned Books Week Coalition, which includes the ALA, will host the event.

Other celebration highlights include ALA’s annual Dear Banned Author program that invites readers to send tweets and letters to authors. ALA also will continue to host its Stand for the Banned Read-out, where participants submit videos of themselves reading from banned and challenged titles. Video submissions will appear on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. Censorship remains a persistent threat to our freedom to read through attempts to ban or restrict books based on a person’s or group’s objections to stories, opinions, and ideas with which they disagree.

Additional information regarding Banned Books Week and celebrations is available at ala.org/bbooks, or follow Banned Books Week on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram to get the latest updates.

Remembering 9/11 With the U.S. National Archives



Reposted from the U.S. National Archives

Firefighters unfurl a large American flag over the scarred stone of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on September 12, 2001. Photographer: Paul Morse. National Archives Identifier 5997275

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. As the nation’s record keeper, the National Archives holds many documents and photographs related to the events of September 11.

9/11 Commission Records

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, was an independent, bipartisan commission created by Congress. The Commission’s mandate was to provide a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and to provide recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future. When the 9/11 Commission closed on August 21, 2004, it transferred legal custody of its records to the National Archives. The Commission encouraged the release of its records to the fullest extent possible in January 2009. A large percentage of the Commission’s records are national security classified files. The National Archives maintains a list of documents released since the records were opened in 2009.

Learn more about the 9/11 Commission Records, and view the released records in the National Archives Catalog.

9/11 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Records

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Record Group 237) compiled records from its staff and aviation facilities to support internal and external investigations of the events. The records consist of 126 cubic feet of textual, audio, and electronic files relating to the actual terrorist attacks, the FAA’s involvement in the monitoring of United Airlines Flights 175 and 93 and American Airlines Flights 11 and 77, and the Federal Government’s subsequent actions in the aftermath of the attacks.

Learn more about the 9/11 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Records at the National Archives and view the Finding Aid.

View the processed FAA records in the National Archives Catalog.

9/11 Photograph Collection

In the days following the September 11 terrorist attacks, White House photographers took over 50,000 photographs capturing the horror and heroism, the courage and compassion surrounding the attacks.

View the collection of 9/11 photographs from the George W. Bush Presidential Library, and a selection of photographs in the National Archives Catalog.

9/11 Fireman’s Son Sees Dad on National Archives Instagram

On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, the National Archives shared a Catalog image from President George W. Bush’s visit to Ground Zero on September 14, 2001.

The son of a 9/11 fireman saw the photo on the National Archives Instagram account and asked: “Hello, I just came across this picture that you posted and the firefighter in the middle is my dad. Is there any way you can send me the original photo?” Learn more about this remarkable story and connection on National Archives News.

Diversity in Your Community and Diversity Audits



Open book in front of stacks of booksReposted from Colorado Virtual Library
By Michael Peever

As the population continues to diversify, how can libraries ensure they are meeting community needs?

The Associated Press recently reported that, although whites remain the largest racial group in the US, their share of the population has fallen by 6% over the past decade. According to the 2020 census results, the US population is becoming more diverse, particularly when it comes to the burgeoning Asian and Hispanic populations. There are a few reasons why this is the case. Attitudes about what it even means to be white are changing—more people now identify as multiracial. Also, the 2020 census updated its data collection methodologies to include more options for identifying race.

Diversity will continue to increase with time, and appears to be accelerating. What does this mean for US society, as well as all the institutions and policies that make up our infrastructure? One institution where diversity remains a crucial topic is the public library. Libraries are intended primarily to serve the needs of their communities, and as those communities evolve and diversify, library staff should be responding to those changes through their library’s services, resources, and policies.

Definitions

“Diversity,” like other social justice type terms, is not a straightforward concept that everyone agrees upon. Many different definitions exist depending on who you ask. Diversity is generally used nowadays as a shorthand for referring to minority/marginalized groups – people who are not:

  • white;
  • middle-class;
  • neurotypical;
  • non-disabled;
  • straight; and/or
  • cisgender.

That is, anyone other than the “normalized” majority. (It is worth noting that we should be cautious of lumping “everyone else” together under the banner of “diversity” in that it can contribute to othering those who don’t fit what is normalized.)

The meaning of diversity seems to be deepening as “Western” culture responds to historical moments and pressure for positive change. It might be better to ask, what does diversity entail now? Diversity today is more than just a description of differences in a given population. It implies the acceptance, or even celebration of differences such as gender identity and race/ethnicity. Diversity initiatives often seek to leverage the skills of different types of people, implying that a variety of unique perspectives benefit and strengthen the whole community.

Although it is often mentioned alongside inclusion and equity, the diversity of a population alone does not signify whether marginalized/minority groups experience inclusion or equity. There may be a significant population of immigrants of color in a community, but that population may not feel at all like it belongs or is included in the community. A community or an organization may be diverse, but that doesn’t automatically mean all its people have access to the same quality of life without barriers – in fact, the opposite is often true. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are all interrelated and co-dependent facets of social justice.

Libraries and Library Staff

Libraries exist to improve everyone’s quality of life by providing access to resources. One way a library can help meet the needs of a diverse community is to ensure that its staff represent the community it serves. Guaranteeing that patrons can see themselves represented in the staff is just one way of improving access to library services for all. Librarianship always has been and still remains overwhelmingly white, despite a long standing realization of a lack of diverse representation, not to mention the many diversity initiatives that libraries and associations have attempted in recent decades.

Diversity Audits

Library workers have an obligation to select, maintain, and support access to content on subjects by diverse authors and creators that meets—as closely as possible—the needs, interests, and abilities of all the people the library serves. This means acquiring materials to address popular demand and direct community input, as well as addressing collection gaps and unexpressed information needs. Library workers have a professional and ethical responsibility to be proactively inclusive in collection development and in the provision of interlibrary loan where offered.

– American Library Association

Another way that diversity comes into play in libraries is with the materials themselves. Generally, our collections are not tremendously diverse: they do not always contain works written by people of color, for example, or enough of those works to be truly representational. Responding to this realization, it is becoming increasingly commonplace in libraries, archives, and museums to conduct diversity audits. What is a diversity audit? This is a project undertaken by staff to get a sense of how representational their materials are. Having hard data on the diversity of your collection (or lack thereof) can be really useful for future collection development and is also a means of practicing what we preach when we advocate for access.

For example, you conduct an audit on the racial make-up of the authors in your collection. You have researched your community’s demographics and concluded that the representation of black authors is much lower than it should be. Obviously, this is an area to focus on when buying books in the future. Having the data clearly showing this deficit can be a powerful means of securing the organizational support needed for improving the collection in this manner.

The findings can be a springboard for later projects and attaining long-term leadership buy-in and/or funding. As a side note, your community’s demographics is just one element to consider (since there are clear benefits to more homogeneous communities accessing diverse material), but demographic statistics can nevertheless be a helpful indicator.

Beginning Your Audit

The scope of a diversity audit is self-determined and dependent on numerous factors, including the size of your collection and the resources (time, effort, and funds) that workers are afforded. Gathering data can be a long and laborious process, so if you are dealing with large collections, sampling might be a good first step. Perhaps you have a good-sized collection of children’s books – this would be an excellent place to begin, but you could also focus elsewhere.

Before starting, write down what exactly it is you are trying to find out in the form of a purpose statement. Here you can clearly define your desired outcomes. You might want to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of auditing this collection?
  • What data am I trying to obtain?
  • How will I use this data?

Then, set some specific data-driven goals. The beauty of conducting your own audit is that you can start however small you like and allow yourself to be as thorough as possible. You could even get started with focusing on just one or two of these sample goals:

  1. Gather data on authors. Note authors who depart from the typical demographics that dominate publishing (white, cisgender men and women).
  2. Identify major themes in books.
  3. Identify books that are written by authors whose identities match their protagonists/subjects.
  4. Identify the representation of major characters (if fiction) or subjects (if nonfiction).
  5. Input the data into an easily retrievable format.
  6. Create a report on the audit, utilizing data visualizations.

Then, for the best part. Once you have identified any weaknesses in your collection, find new books!

Wyoming Libraries Encouraged to Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month



There is nothing more empowering than getting your own library card. It gives you access to technology, resources, and services to pursue your passions and dreams. That’s why we are so excited that Library Card Sign-Up Month is here again! The American Library Association (ALA) and National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) teamed up in 1987 for the very first Library Card Sign-Up Month, “a national campaign to emphasize the importance of library cards to a child’s education and to combat illiteracy.” Visit the American Library Association Archives blog to read more about the campaign’s history.

Share the following graphic and information from ALA with your patrons, family, and friends to promote this special event:

Marley Dias, author, executive producer, and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, is joining the American Library Association and libraries nationwide in promoting the power of a library card this September. #1000BlackGirlBooks is an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character. Dias launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015 with the help of GrassROOTS Community Foundation. The goal was to collect 1,000 books by February 2016 and Dias has collected over 13,000 books to-date. Dias’ #1000BlackGirlBooks resources guide can found on the GrassROOTS Community Foundation website.

As honorary chair, Dias wants to remind the public that signing up for a library card provides access to technology, multimedia content and educational programming that transforms lives and strengthens communities. “A library card provides opportunity for discovery and access to a rich and diverse world. It empowers you to make change and experience new stories,” said Dias.

Visit your library online or in-person to see what’s new and take part in the celebration. Libraries across the country are participating.

Do you have friends who don’t have library cards? Invite them to sign up during September and to check-out GoWYLD.net for instant access to e-Books, e-Audiobooks, magazines, language learning, and more resources for library card holders of all ages.

News in Brief



ABOS Announces Featured Speakers for 2021 Virtual Conference
The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) will feature Charlie Luh, Ryan Dowd, and Noah Lenstra at their virtual conference in October. Luh serves on the 1000 Books Foundation Board of Directors and co-authored 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. Dowd is the author of The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness. Lenstra is the director of Let’s Move in Libraries. The conference will take place October 11-15 and registration is open through September 30.

ALA partners with NonProfit Vote for National Voter Registration Day
The American Library Association (ALA) has again joined with NonProfit Vote as a premier partner for National Voter Registration Day 2021. ALA encourages libraries to sign up to participate in this important event, culminating in a nation-wide day of action on September 28, 2021. Many libraries partner with local election agencies and community-based organizations to disseminate information, host events, and promote informed participation in the democratic process.

U.S. Fire Administration Resources for Fire Prevention Week 2021
Fire Prevention Week is a little more than a month away (October 3-9, 2021). The U.S. Fire Administration offers resources that are free to print or order. Registration is not required to look at or download items from the catalog. Consider using these materials if you need a program for early October!

Bureau of Land Management Records at the National Archives
This summer, the Bureau of Land Management celebrated its 75th birthday. It was created on July 16, 1946 when President Harry Truman merged two agencies within the Department of Interior: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The National Archives holds historical records from the Bureau of Land Management, including textual records, photographs, maps and charts, as well as records that reflect access to land and acquisition of land throughout much of American history.

Administrator Support Empowers School Librarians as Literacy Leaders
Just published research from the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research (SLR), explores how school district administrators can foster information literacy by supporting school librarians. The article, “Enabling School Librarians to Serve as Instructional Leaders of Multiple Literacies,” can be accessed for free at www.ala.org/aasl/slr.

STEMIE Has Resources to Make STEM Inclusive for Children with Disabilities
STEMIE is an organization that develops models for including young children with disabilities in STEM learning. Get resources to discover STEM programs that are accessible, or learn how to tweak your current STEM programs to address the needs of all children. You can also access research on providing supports for young children with disabilities when you are offering STEM programs.

Create a Girls Who Code Club for Free STEM Resources
Girls Who Code Clubs are free programs for 3rd-5th and 6th-12th grade girls and non-binary students to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models using computer science to change the world. They can be held in-person or entirely online. Club facilitators are provided with coding curricula across all skill levels, spotlights on inspiring female role models, community-building activities, and comprehensive support and training. No coding experience is required to facilitate a club.

Looking for Freely Usable Video Clips?
Mazwai.com is a resource for free stock footage and moving images. Royalty-free video clips have been hand-picked by their team of video experts for a selection of quality visual content with simple and safe licensing.

ALA Adopts New Code of Ethics Principle on Racial and Social Justice
During the American Library Association (ALA) Annual and Exhibition virtual conference, the ALA Council unanimously adopted a new ninth principle on racial and social justice to the association’s Code of Ethics. It reads: “We affirm the inherent dignity and rights of every person. We work to recognize and dismantle systemic and individual biases; to confront inequity and oppression; to enhance diversity and inclusion; and to advance racial and social justice in our libraries, communities, profession, and associations through awareness, advocacy, education, collaboration, services, and allocation of resources and spaces.”

ALA Announces Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Scorecard
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Committee on Diversity has released its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Scorecard for Library and Information Organizations. Members of the committee created the template to assist administrators and other decision-makers with gathering actionable data for strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion in their institutions.

Policy Brief: Rural Libraries Have Social Wellbeing Impacts
This new policy brief shows that public libraries make a difference across dimensions of social wellbeing and community thriving. They are the central place and anchor in small towns, facilitating community member belonging, connection, and mutual support. And in so doing, they correlate dramatically to improved quality of life and multi-dimensional social wellbeing.

FCC Opens Second Emergency Connectivity Fund Window



Cartoon illustration: wifi symbol surrounded by people using gadgets and laptops against a cityscape backgroundIn view of outstanding demand and the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will open a second application filing window for schools and libraries to request funding from the roughly $2 billion remaining in the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program. The ECF will support connected devices and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons for the current 2021-22 school year.

The second application filing window will open on September 28 and run until October 13. Eligible schools and libraries will be able to apply for financial support for eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 for students, school staff and library patrons with unmet needs.

Information is available at EmergencyConnectivityFund.org. For more, review the FAQs, updated as new questions come in, and sign up for Emergency Connectivity Fund Program emails. Applicants and service providers can also contact the Emergency Connectivity Fund CSC with questions at (800) 234-9781 Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Fraud Alert



If you’ve provided information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit to your community, know that the FCC has issued a consumer advisory warning the public about an imposter website. The site was collecting personal information from consumers and falsely claiming to provide free devices and services related to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

Consumers are reminded to only use the official Emergency Broadband Benefit website, GetEmergencyBroadband.org, to enroll in the program. Consumers can also contact a participating provider directly, but they should first verify that a provider is approved to participate in the program by visiting fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers and searching by their state or territory.

The WiFi Freedom USA website falsely claimed that it can provide consumers with free devices and services related to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Consumers may have also seen advertisements for WiFi Freedom USA’s website on social media platforms.

If your patrons provided personal information to WiFi Freedom USA, they should visit IdentityTheft.gov. If they made any payments to WiFi Freedom USA, they should contact their financial institutions to see if there are any remedies available. Individuals can file reports about government imposter fraud with the Federal Trade Commission at Reportfraud.ftc.gov and get information about how to recover any money paid.