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Digital Equity in New York State

This guide provides an overview of digital equity initiatives at the state level, as well as resources and materials to support digital equity practitioners across New York.

Digital Inclusion: What Every Library Needs to Know!

Please join the New York State Library and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) for a series of information-rich training webinars aimed at increasing awareness and providing a deeper understanding of digital inclusion across New York State’s libraries and library systems.

Trainings in this series will include addressing digital equity barriers, building partnerships and coalitions, developing digital navigator programs, and collecting, analyzing, and using local data to conduct asset mapping. See below for more detailed information about webinar topics and dates.

This training is intended for library workers from all types of libraries and their digital inclusion partners from other sectors, including schools and community based organizations.

Training Schedule

Digital Equity Barriers and Strategies

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 11:00-12:30 PM Eastern

Participants will gain a stronger understanding of digital equity, the basics of broadband technology and how the gaps in broadband availability impact broadband adoption. We will share strategies, including current and potential funding opportunities.

Session Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn more about the basics of broadband and connectivity.
  • Explore how the digital access gaps affect different communities.
  • Learn about small and large scale strategies used to provide digital inclusion services.
  • Become familiar with potential funding strategies.

Digital Equity Barriers and Strategies Recordingexternal link

Digital Equity Barriers and Strategies Slide Deck

Partnerships and Coalitions

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 11:00-12:30 PM Eastern

Webinar will provide NYS regional and local libraries strategies and models in developing relations with community partners to address digital inequities, and to support community digital inclusion ecosystem growth through a framework for partnership and coalition building.

Session Outcomes:

  • Participants will gain a better understanding of how digital inclusion coalitions are formed, operate, and continue to develop.
  • Will understand the difference between partnership and coalition.
  • Will explore the different roles and functions digital inclusion coalitions take.
  • Learn about coalition structure and roles.
  • Review strategies to prioritize community participation and inclusion.
  • Explore some challenging topics for consideration when forming a coalition.

Partnerships and Coalitions Recordingexternal link

Partnerships and Coalitions Slide Deck 

Part 1: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 11-12:30 PM Eastern

Part 2: Thursday, January 27, 2022, 11-12:30 PM Eastern

Upon completion of these webinars, participants will have the tools and in-depth knowledge on the Digital Navigator model, its impact and how to add this field-tested program as part of their library’s portfolio of services.

Session Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn how to adapt and deliver Digital Navigator program model for their communities
  • Participants will learn about hiring, partnerships, marketing, and evaluation involved in Digital Navigator program


Part I Recording

Part II Recording

Slide Decks:

Part I Slide Deck

Part II Slide Deck

Additional resources from Part I: 

Data Collection and Analysis

Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 11-12:30 PM Eastern

Building strong and lasting digital inclusion and digital navigator programs requires an understanding of programmatic data collection, analysis and management.

Session Outcomes:

  • Participants will gain knowledge on finding data collection sources
  • Participants will gain understanding of data collection methods in digital inclusion programs
  • Participants will gain understanding of importance of data gathering

Data Collection and Analysis Recording 

Data Collection and Analysis Slide Deck

Asset Mapping

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 11-12:30 PM Eastern

Participants will learn how to gather local asset information and learn how to visualize social characteristics of the digital divide locally, regionally and statewide, using publicly available data and analysis tools.

Session Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn how to access public information records
  • Participants will learn how to design surveys for programmatic data collection
  • Participants will learn how to use tools to visualize social characteristics of the digital divide in local communities

Asset Mapping Recording

Asset Mapping Slide Deck

New York State Library Digital Inclusion Toolkit

Thursday, November 22, 2022, 10:30-12:00PM Eastern

The State Library created the 2022 Digital Inclusion Toolkit to provide libraries of all sizes with practical and useful guidance for furthering digital inclusion partnerships and digital literacy initiatives in local communities throughout New York State. Webinar participants will learn how to use the toolkit to expand their library’s digital inclusion programming and planning, as well as gain an understanding of the larger digital inclusion ecosystem, and how libraries play a role in national change.

Digital Inclusion Toolkit Recording

Digital Inclusion Toolkit Slide Deck

Additional Resources:

FCC's Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program

Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Eastern

NDIA will be hosting a webinar to discuss information regarding the ACP outreach grant program. Learn about eligibility, the application process, how you can use funding, and tips for preparing and submitting the application.

Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program Recording

Digital Inclusion 101

Thursday, December 15, 2022, 1:00-2:00PM Eastern

Digital Inclusion practitioners have been working to end the digital divide for decades, creating their own community, definitions, resources, and gaining knowledge of what works and doesn’t. Digital Inclusion is a multifaceted issue that takes time to understand and NDIA is here to help!

Digital Inclusion 101 Recording

Digital Inclusion 101 Slide Deck

Additional Resources:

NTIA's Request for Comment Information Webinar

Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 2:00-3:00PM Eastern

On April 4, NTIA’s Digital Equity Director, Angela Thi Bennett joined us for a webinar to stress the importance of hearing from you as they formulate the two remaining grant programs for the Digital Equity Act. Watch the video where I walk you through each of the 24 questions summarizing them in plain language and providing best practices for submitting comments.

NTIA's Request for Comment Webinar Recording

Additional Resources:

NTIA's Digital Equity Act RFC 


Additional Information

Attendance at these webinars is required for any libraries or library systems participating in a Reference and Research Library Resources Councils (3Rs) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) -funded digital inclusion initiative project. Webinars also count toward public librarian certification professional development requirements.

For any questions about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), please contact Amy Heebner, Library Development Specialist, Division of Library Development, New York State Library with any questions.

Please contact Kristi Zappie-Ferradino, Director of Programs and Initiatives, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, with any questions about the webinars.


The New York State Library works in partnership with the State’s 72 library systems to bring cost-effective, high quality library services to the millions who use New York’s some 7,000 academic, public, school, and special libraries.

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance is a community of digital inclusion practitioners and advocates working collaboratively to craft, identify and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs.

Digital Inclusion: What Every Library Needs to Know is supported with federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).