Friday, January 11, 2013

E-Rate and libraries

Sticks Library participates in a federally sponsored program called E-Rate, which, according to the FCC E-Rate site. "The Schools and Libraries Universal Service support mechanism was established as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 with the express purpose of providing affordable access to telecommunications services for all eligible schools and libraries, particularly those in rural and economically disadvantaged areas."

This program examines the community you serve (looking at things like how many students fall under reduced/free school lunches); looks at what type of telecommunications you use and what you make available to your public; how much you spend per month, and then in that amazing way that the federal govt. decides things, lets you know if your library has qualified for money back. The process is a pain in the ass, but money is money and worth working for, because every little bit helps Sticks Library. So, last night I spent three hours pouring over one form in the process, hoping I did it right, I said a "Hail Mary," and mailed the second form for the 2013-2014 funding year.

In case there are others out there working on E-Rate, here are some helpful links:

Schools and Libraries E-Rate page

FORMS page

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