Magazine article Information Today

$6.5 Million in Federal Technology Support Awarded to NYPL

Magazine article Information Today

$6.5 Million in Federal Technology Support Awarded to NYPL

Article excerpt

The New York Public Library (NYPL) has announced that the library has received $6.5 million in discounts on $8.3 million in telecommunications, Internet, and equipment expenses through the federal education rate (e-rate) program. Paul LeClerc, president of NYPL, said: "This is an historic day for the library. These discounts provide us with an extraordinary opportunity to expand the technology services we make available to our users, many of whom rely on our library as their only access to computers, the Web, and the most up-to-date electrronic databases."

The e-rate program, established as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provides 20 to 90 percent discounts to schools and libraries throughout the country on telecommunications and related services. $1.9 billion was made available to schools and libraries in this first year of the program, and libraries nationwide requested discounts worth $67 million. As one of the largest library systems in the country, The New York Public Library's award represents 10 percent of all discounts provided to libraries.

The New York Public Library's 78 percent discount for expenses worth $8.3 million requires it to spend only $1.8 million on these services. The Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company, created by the Federal Communications Commission to administer this program, will make up the difference. These discounts will allow NYPL to upgrade and expand its telecommunications infrastructure and network. The savings accrued will enable NYPL to buy additional public access computers; increase public technology training classes; purchase more electronic databases; and increase digital collections of text, images, video, and sound in 89 branch and research libraries throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. …

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