About Inclusive Gigabit Libraries

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Click HERE for the Full Inclusive Gigabit Libraries Report

Inclusive Gigabit Libraries: Learn, Discuss and Brainstorm is a Continuing Education National Forum for library leaders and stakeholders to enhance the understanding of how libraries can adopt and use next generation broadband Internet networks to address social inclusion and serve the emerging digital information needs of communities. Increasingly, libraries rely on broadband connectivity coupled with redesigned organizational processes to provide Internet-enabled services to meet the individual human development needs of its communities. US Ignite is facilitating the development of these high bandwidth, smart, and programmable networks to transform health care, education and workforce development, public safety, energy, and manufacturing. Forums were conducted in representative areas across the United States and online, providing library leaders with opportunities to share, learn, and strategize about how to leverage high-speed broadband networks to create public value in a fast-changing globally networked environment. We used case studies from libraries connected to next generation broadband networks including Chattanooga, Cuyahoga County, CENIC, and Rutgers. Participants learned various leadership imperatives from these case studies of current libraries that are in various stages of adopting and using gigabit speed networks.

The research, interviews, and forums conducted for these case studies are explored in the Inclusive Gigabit Libraries Final Report.

Principal Investigator for the Inclusive Gigabit Libraries project, Dr. Jon Gant, is a professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Director of the Center for Digital Inclusion. Gant is a national leader in the areas of digital inclusion and broadband adoption. In the past two years, he has published groundbreaking research in the areas of Internet access and use, including co-authoring the first report to examine broadband adoption among minority communities. Gant recently served as a Director of Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B), a $30-million dollar project dedicated to building one of the fastest broadband networks in the country. Jon was appointed to the UC2B board in October 2013.  Gant is also an expert in evaluating the social and economic impact of broadband Internet and other ICT investments. He serves as a consultant with ASR Analytics as a research director and member of the academic advisory board for the evaluation of the Department of Commerce, NTIA $4.7 billion Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).

Under Gant’s direction, CDI is helping to incubate new applications that will run on ultra-high speed broadband networks. In 2012, Gant received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to provide continuing education to library leaders about the ways in which libraries can participate in building the next generation of the Internet. Researchers at CDI are also working on other digital literacy projects funded by the State of Illinois, Partnership for a Connected Illinois, the American Library Association, and IMLS.   CDI is one of three research centers at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, which is the top ranked school in the US.

In addition to his work on digital inclusion and broadband adoption, Jon is an expert in e-government, geo-spatial information systems, strategic planning and information systems. His research has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Organization for Economic Coordination and Development, the International Telecommunication Union, and the National Science Foundation, among others. Gant received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied public policy and information management.

Contact: Jon Gant, CDI Director, jongant@illinois.edu


Inclusive Gigabit Libraries: Learn, Discuss, and Brainstorm is a U.S Institute of Museum and Library Services, (IMLS)-grant funded continuing education project focused on libraries and their stakeholders to leverage emerging high-speed networks for social inclusion. Research for this project was conducted by the Center for Digital Inclusion at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois.

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