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Complimentary Webinar Tomorrow! 
Thursday, July 17 - A One-Hour Webinar
1 pm ET/12 pm CT/11 am MT/10 am PT
Twitter Icon #ULCWebinar   Twitter Icon @Learning_Labs_

The planning and design process that created 24 teen-centered Learning Labs across the U.S. is almost complete. Tune in for critical findings from early research on the key elements of creating a high-impact connected learning experience for youth. Register today!

E-Rate Modernization: The Process Continues

On July 11, FCC Commissioners began the approval process to modernize the nation's E-Rate program. The current program will be maintained at $2 billion per year, with an additional $2 billion in funding over the next two years. The new funds will be allocated to public libraries based on a formula of $2.30/square foot and can be used to build out internal connectivity - i.e. Wi Fi infrastructure. This new formula will be in place for two years.


During a special webinar for ULC members on July 15, Reed Hundt and John Beahn, ULC's pro bono legal advisors, stressed that the process for modernizing the entirety of the E-Rate program is ongoing and there is ample opportunity for ULC leaders to inform and influence critical decisions - such as the funding formula for libraries beyond 2016/17.


While the new rate of $2.30/square foot expands funding to libraries, there is still a need to 1) establish a reliable baseline of the real costs that libraries incur to provide both internal and external connectivity and 2) create a better formula that serves as the mechanism for allocating funds to libraries. The formula must be simple to calculate and should reflect the size of a library's service area, the relative income of its service population and the costs of connectivity.


In the days ahead, ULC will keep members informed and engaged in this critical process. There will be a continued need for library leaders to provide data and analysis that can be used to make the make the case for more funding and better funding mechanisms to the FCC, the "court of public opinion" and Congress. Through informed, thoughtful and insistent advocacy, library leaders can influence the process and be heard on behalf of their local communities and patrons.

Strategic Priorities at IMLS

This year, the Institute for Museum & Library Services hosted day-long programs in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago to discuss and receive input about the federal agency's strategic priorities, particularly as they relate to: the library's role in fostering opportunities for lifelong learning, being anchors for community engagement, and providing access to content.  Learn more about these important convenings and watch webcasts of the events.

New Funding Opportunity for Digital Media and Learning

The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) and the MacArthur Foundation have announced their fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition titled "The Trust Challenge:  Building Trust in Connected Learning Environments." Grants in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 will be awarded for one-year projects that explore issues such as trust, privacy, safety and learning in today's online environment. This is a rich opportunity for public libraries who have long championed these values.  Proposals will be accepted from September 3 to November 3, 2014. Visit to find out more.

Pardon Our Dust


ULC is moving to Washington, DC. Our servers, phone lines and other contact information will change; however, we hope that this is a seamless transition for our members. If you experience any problems, please check the website or email us at



We will keep you informed throughout the transition.  

We're Hiring


ULC is in search of a Director for Edge - the National Benchmarking Initiative. Read and learn more about the opportunity here.




Healthy L.I.F.E in Houston

The Houston Public Library is a 2014 Top Innovator in the category of Health, Wellness & Safety for its Healthy L.I.F.E. program, a literacy-based initiative that provides families with information, tools and resources that are needed for healthy living.  With 66% of adults and 34% of youth in the Houston area overweight and 20% of adults in need of basic literacy skills, the Library's program is tackling a significant community health issue through a family-learning model. Healthy L.I.F.E offers regularly-scheduled events to help parents and children learn together about healthy life-styles, reducing stress, school success, and healthy eating while also getting access to free community resources. Learn more about this innovative approach to helping people help themselves!  













 Innovation is About Now


Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab recently gave a TEDTalk on innovation in which he "...shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what's going on around you right now. Don't be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist." Watch and learn more. 


Mohawks at the Library


San Diego County Library Director, Jose Aponte and five library staff had their hair cut into mohawks last week, in celebration of the Vista Branch Library meeting its challenge of achieving 1 million checkouts in the past year. It got the attention of local media - watch the video 


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