Sign a Petition to Support Libraries Today

Don’t Let Alaska Libraries Go Dark!

Please sign our petition to tell the House and Senate in Juneau to fund the Online With Libraries (OWL) program in the 2017 capital budget. At $761,800 OWL is an inexpensive program with broad reach for Alaskans that gets a huge federal match of $3.1 million.

OWLconnectsAK

Please sign our petition to tell the House and Senate in Juneau to fund the Online With Libraries (OWL) program in the 2017 capital budget. At $761,800 OWL is an inexpensive program with broad reach for Alaskans that gets a huge federal match of $3.1 million.

In Alaska, individuals of all ages rely on the library’s internet for dependable connectivity and bandwidth for online applications, communication, training and learning. No one likes getting bumped off of the internet. But in Alaska, recent budget decisions by the House and Senate eliminated funding for the public library OWL funding as of July 1, 2016. This means 7.2% of Alaskans lose access to library internet when connectivity is needed most: in a recession. And Alaska forfeits $3.1 million in federal matching funds for internet connectivity. 25% of Alaskan libraries, primarily in rural locations, will go dark. Internet connectivity, bandwidth and wi-fi will not be available at these OWL libraries which serve a population total of 56,529 Alaskans.

Please sign our petition to tell the House and Senate in Juneau to fund the Online With Libraries (OWL) program in this year’s capital budget. At $761,800 OWL is an inexpensive program with broad reach for Alaskans that gets a huge federal match of $3.1 million.

With OWL funding, Alaska libraries are the only place for many of our neighbors who are looking for work, checking on medical and financial issues, keeping up with fishing, hunting and cannery work, completing school, applying for permits and child service, and seeking literacy support. For students in those communities, the library is the only place to study online - even through wi-fi enabled phones. Without OWL, thousands of our neighbors and students across Alaska will not be able to access the internet or get wifi access through the library. If our libraries go dark because OWL funding is cut, basic services will be cut or drastically reduced.

We, the undersigned, ask the Alaskan State House and Senate to fund the Online With Libraries (OWL) program at $761,800 through the capital budget in FY 2017 to ensure basic access to the internet, broadband, and wifi through libraries.

We know that:

1. OWL broadband and wifi at libraries is a hand-up, not a hand-out for folks across Alaska.
2. In this budget crisis, Alaska shouldn’t skip the 4:1 federal matching funds through e-rate for libraries. That doesn’t make sense.
3. OWL funding at $761,800 keeps Alaskans connected to the internet through libraries across the state.

Don’t let Alaska libraries go dark!

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