Library 2.0

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Your Name and Title:

Chris Ritzo, Program Management and Community Lead at Measurement Lab

Library, School, or Organization Name:

Measurement Lab, Simmons University

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Dr. Colin Rhinesmith

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

US East Coast

Language in Which You Will Present:


Target Audience(s):

Researchers, librarians, technology staff, administrators.

Short Session Description (one line):
Open Broadband Measurement Data for Public Libraries

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Open Broadband Measurement Data for Public Libraries

Public libraries need access to reliable, automated, and longitudinal data on the speed and quality of service of their broadband Internet connections. Having such data at a local, granular level is essential for libraries to understand how their broadband infrastructure can meet their communities’ digital demands, as well as inform local, state, and national broadband planning efforts. 

Building on the recommendations from LIS scholars studying Internet access and digital services in libraries, researchers at Simmons University, Internet 2, and Measurement Lab (M-Lab) are conducting a two-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (award # LG-71-18-0110-18), using participatory research methodologies and an information system design approach to examine how public libraries across the U.S. can utilize automated broadband measurement tools to help achieve their goals of serving patrons' digital needs and serve the digital equity mission of libraries.

M-Lab is an international, open data platform designed for the specific purpose of measuring broadband, and has a mission of serving the public interest with open data generated by the tests it hosts. M-Lab is a fiscally sponsored program of Code for Science & Society, a 501c3 supporting open source projects. M-Lab's broadband measurement tests do not collect any patron information or examine the content patrons request from the Internet, and as such M-Lab is aligned with the public library's values of protecting patron privacy. 

Internet2 is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 328 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions.

We are now at the mid-point in this research program, with 10 libraries around the country are collecting data using this system. In our interviews with both library staff and IT support staff, participants have shared how they plan to use the longitudinal broadband measurement data for planning, advocacy, funding, and troubleshooting. Beyond their participation in this research, as public community anchor institutions, libraries are interested in what their broadband measurement data can tell them about the services they provide to patrons. Because M-Lab data is openly published, tests run by people in the communities where libraries provide service is also available. In aggregate, M-Lab data from libraries' communities can aide in understanding Internet service generally, and support libraries' digital inclusion initiatives.

Libraries also have their own data on Internet use, from public computer and WiFi session management systems, that complements and contextualizes our measurement system's speed and quality of service tests. Our session will share preliminary findings from the first year of the program, and touch on the second year of the program, which will scale to 50 additional libraries.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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Can you share the slides? Especially the ones that didn't display correctly. Good recovery, BTW

Thanks! The slides can be viewed here:

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