Program Details

Title: Connectivity for Arizona Rural and Tribal Libraries


Mary Villegas, Tribal Library Consultant, Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records


Malavika Muralidharan, Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records

Nicole Umayam, Federal Program Officer - Arizona, National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Date/Time: Thursday, October 19, 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Room: Ballroom

Program Description

Although Rural and Tribal communities have historically lacked meaningful access to affordable, high speed broadband Internet services, the digital divide became more apparent during and post pandemic. Education tools, training, health-care, job applications, government services, could only be accessed digitally. It was critical, to provide infrastructure and access to all Arizonans to stay globally competitive, stay connected, and not to be left behind.  Come and learn about

1. the new order for Small, Rural and Tribal Libraries

2. the Transformational Broadband Infrastructure funding

3. the strategies for the future.

Presenter Bios

Mary Villegas is the Tribal Library Consultant at the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records.

Mala Muralidharan is the State E-rate Administrator for Public Libraries and works at the State Library of Arizona. Mala has been working on E-rate funding since 2001 (almost since the inception of the funding). In collaboration with the Dept of Education, Mala has worked tirelessly in encouraging better participation in E-rate through training, making it more affordable by working with State Procurement Office on State Master Contracts. Mala also works at the national level, on ALA's E-rate Task force and with SHLB (Schools Health, Libraries Broadband) and with FCC on rules and guidelines affecting E-rate.

Nicole Umayam a Federal Program Officer for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, supporting the State of Arizona in broadband and digital equity programs from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Previously, she worked as the digital inclusion library consultant for the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and as a project archivist for various language and cultural preservation efforts.

Arizona Library Association

Building Strong Libraries Together

7760 E State Route 69
Ste C5 #385
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

(928) 288-2011

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