Tuesday, April 15, 2014

California Emerging Technology Fund Names Linda Crowe 2014 Broadband Champion

Peninsula Library System Leader Acts to Close the Digital Divide

Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA – March 26, 2014 – The California Emerging Technology Fund is pleased to announce Linda Crowe, Executive Director of the Peninsula Library System (San Mateo County) and Califa, a consortium of more than 220 California public libraries, is a 2014 Broadband Champion.  Fifteen individuals are being recognized for their groundbreaking work and strong commitment to close the Digital Divide.  

The Champions were selected in consultation with dozens of broadband leaders, community advocates and state and local policymakers.  The 15 individuals are featured in the California Emerging Technology Fund 2013-2014 Annual Report and will be recognized at events in San Francisco on March 27 and in Pasadena on May 19. 

“We congratulate Linda and all of the Broadband Champions.  From El Centro to Silicon Valley, from Hollywood to Humboldt, they are representatives of trailblazers who work throughout California and beyond to point the way for policymakers to understand the opportunities afforded by information technology and high-speed Internet access,” said CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak.  “The Champions also share the moral imperative not to leave anyone behind or offline.  Each of these individuals inspires us to act to close the Digital Divide,” she said.   Photo of Linda Crowe and the full list of recipients are available on request. 

Linda Crowe:  Moving California Libraries into the Digital Age

Linda Crowe understands the power of networks.  She serves as Executive Director of the Peninsula Library System, which includes Silicon Valley cities, and of Califa, a consortium of more than 220 California public libraries.  A pioneer on national and state digital initiatives, including leading a national task force focused on equal access to electronic resources, Linda for a decade has worked to develop a library network for California. In 2012, the state’s academic-based network agreed to invite public libraries, but then the State Library budget was slashed.  Undeterred, Linda and others conducted a “needs assessment,” which showed that 52% of California public libraries had unacceptably slow Internet connections.  Now, the Governor’s proposed budget for 2014-15 includes $3.3 million for upgrading connections to join the network.  Linda is not looking back:  Instead she asks “What’s next?” and “How can we make it better?” 

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