September 9, 2011


Leaders and Citizens Discuss Proposed Framework for Digitally Inclusive Communities

Washington, DC— IMLS director, Susan Hildreth will visit Los Angeles, California, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Bangor, Maine and work with state librarians to lead community and leadership forums.


Community Forum

Leadership Forum

Los Angeles, CA

September 12

September 13

Oklahoma City, OK

October 11

October 12

Bangor, ME

October 18

October 19

As access to broadband becomes increasingly important to full participation in society, the need for communities to develop plans that address the needs of all of their residents is urgent. Answering the call of the National Broadband Plan, IMLS has worked with more than one hundred organizations and individuals with deep knowledge about public access to technology and the diverse information needs of communities to develop a "proposed framework for digitally inclusive communities."

Libraries and other community-based organizations play especially important roles in meeting the needs of hard to reach residents and ensuring opportunity for all. Libraries are recognized community anchors with the capacity to convene public officials, businesses, schools, hospitals, public safety and cultural institutions so that they can work together to fully and effectively realize the value of a digitally inclusive community.

"We are looking forward to hearing directly from community members and local officials about the challenges they face in creating digitally inclusive communities" said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director. "Every voice helps to strengthen this work which we hope will result in a resource that is truly effective and useful."

The three cities were selected to assure participation by diverse audiences from a mix of rural and urban environments.

The forums will be instrumental in accomplishing three important goals: 

  1. Finalizing the framework with meaningful feedback from the general public and relevant stakeholders.

  2. Building support for digital inclusion and fostering relationships with communities and partners who can facilitate future piloting of the digital inclusion framework.

  3. Developing implementation and communication plans with meaningful feedback from community leaders.

IMLS is working with the University of Washington Information School and the International City/County Management Association to finalize the framework incorporating insights gathered from the forums. The framework will serve as the foundation for development of tools and resources to help communities across the United States in realizing the benefits of digital inclusion.

For more news and information about IMLS’s digital inclusion and broadband initiatives, please visit

IMLS Press Contacts
Natasha Marstiller,
Mamie Bittner,

CA Press Contact
Peter Persic,

OK Press Contact
William R. Young,

ME Press Contact
Linda Lord,  

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit