Program to expand library broadband access, rural computer literacy in Maine

Posted Feb. 24, 2011, at 6:19 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 24, 2011, at 3:19 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Internet access will be improved at more than 100 Maine public libraries, and rural populations will get training in computer literacy to help them find jobs and get access to legal information and forms.

The project will also establish 11 video conferencing regional hubs that will be used to train librarians and patrons.

Tilson Government Services LLC is working with the Maine State Library to implement the program, which will increase broadband access at 107 libraries. The expanded service is seen as critical in rural areas to connect them to the outside world. Sixty percent of Maine’s population lives in rural areas.

Federal stimulus funds, state funds and grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others are paying for the expansion.