Welcome to the project website for “Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform,” a grant (award #LG-71-18-0110-18) from by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant for Libraries program. The research is led by Dr. Colin Rhinesmith, Assistant Professor and Director of the Community Informatics Lab at the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science, along with Measurement Lab (M-Lab) and Internet2 to 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.

Read the press release from Internet2 announcing the project and stay tuned here on our research blog to follow project updates.

Project Team

Colin Rhinesmith, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Associate Professor and Director, Community Informatics Lab, Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. Dr. Rhinesmith’s research has focused on the role of public libraries in promoting digital inclusion and broadband adoption in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the U.S. His recent work with researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Oklahoma State University funded by the IMLS has examined how rural libraries address the challenges of Internet connectivity with hotspot lending programs. Rhinesmith’s research has been published in several top scholarly journals, including Government Information Quarterly; Information, Communication & SocietyTelecommunications Policy; and Public Library Quarterly.

Georgia Bullen, Executive Director, Simply Secure. Georgia Bullen has been an advocate in the internet health movement through her work and passion around issues such as net neutrality, security, privacy, and equitable access to technology. Her work has focused on the intersection of human-centered design, urban space, and technology – specifically, how technology intersects with human rights, e.g access to information and the right to communicate. She has a background in human-centered design, data visualization, urban planning and software development, and is an advocate for diversity in technology.

Chris Ritzo, Program Management & Community Lead at Measurement Lab, Code for Science & Society. Chris Ritzo supports researchers, policy makers, advocacy groups, and individuals interested in M-Lab’s open Internet measurement data. Chris’ research examines technology’s impact on and use within communities, particularly within public institutions such as schools and libraries. His work is grounded in experiences within the maker movement, community organizations, grassroots media, cooperatives, and community access television.

Stephanie Stenberg, Director, Community Anchor Program (CAP), Internet2. CAP works with state and regional research and education networks across the country to connect the full range of community anchor institutions to advanced broadband capabilities. Stephanie spearheads CAP’s Presidential Primary Sources Project, which is a live, interactive web series about our nation’s presidents. She regularly presents on the benefits of advanced networking to community anchor institutions.

Carson Block, President, Carson Block Consulting Inc. http://www.carsonblock.com/
Carson previously worked with Internet2 on the Toward Gigabit Libraries project (http://www.internet2.edu/tgl/) and joined the MLBN team to assist with continuity between the projects and write a training manual for MLBN participants. Carson Block Consulting Inc. is a full-service library technology consulting firm established as Carson Block LLC in 2010, and incorporated as Carson Block Consulting Inc. in 2012. Primary areas of consulting including library technology planning; facilities and services master planning; IT Department audits, assessments, and improvement plans; and teaching, training, facilitation and public speaking on library technology and general library advocacy topics. Carson Block has been a library technologist for more than 25 years – as a library worker, IT Director and now a Library Technology Consultant. He has been called “a geek who speaks English” and enjoys acting as a bridge between the worlds of librarians and hard-core technologists. He has a passion to de-mystify technology for the uninitiated, and to help IT professionals understand and support the goals of libraries.

Susan Kennedy, Research Assistant, School of Library and Information Science, Simmons University. Susan received her BA from Bennington College, and is currently working toward her MLIS at Simmons. Her focus is on public library leadership, advocacy, and policy, and she is particularly passionate about the role public libraries play in promoting digital equity and information literacy.

Jo Dutilloy, Research Assistant, School of Library and Information Science, Simmons University. Jo received a BA in Comparative Literature from Bryn Mawr College and is working towards a dual Master’s degree in Archives and History at Simmons. They have been passionate about digital stewardship and public access to information since their summer as a Digital Humanities Intern at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Jo continues to pursue the development of open and equitable access to information in this and other projects.

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