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Public Library Toolbox


The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund (E-Rate) is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and provides discounts to assist school and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced technologies. Schools and libraries can apply annually for discounts of from 20-90% on telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections. The E-Rate program can be a source of additional funds for Nevada public libraries, and the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records encourages all public libraries to apply for E-Rate. Libraries must meet the Minimum Public Library Standards for Nevada to be eligible for E-Rate.

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Libraries receiving e-rate assistance for products and services that provide access to the Internet must comply with the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act. These products and services include Category One Internet access and all Category Two services – internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and basic maintenance of internal connections.

Applicants must certify compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to be eligible for Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program discounts on Category One internet access and all Category Two services – internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and basic maintenance of internal connections. The relevant authority with responsibility for administration of the eligible school or library (the Administrative Authority) must certify that the school or library is enforcing an internet safety policy that includes measures to block or filter internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions.

CIPA requirements include three items: an Internet safety policy, a technology protection measure (filtering), and a public notice and hearing or meeting.

Information on various filter types and options can be found here:

In general, school and library authorities must certify that:

  1. They have complied with the requirements of CIPA;
  2. They are undertaking actions, including any necessary procurement procedures, to comply with the requirements of CIPA;
  3. Or, CIPA does not apply because they are receiving discounts for telecommunications services only.

Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology (OSIT)

OSIT was established with two major goals related to STEM and broadband:

  • STEM: To coordinate and align efforts by K-12 and higher education, workforce development, and employers to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and STEM workforce development so that Nevada’s workforce can meet the demands of its growing economy.
  • Broadband: To coordinate the planning, mapping, and procurement of broadband to ensure connectivity across Nevada for schools, libraries, hospitals, clinics and communities meets national standards.

The Nevada Connect Kids Initiative was created to increase broadband Internet access, adoption, and use across the state. As part of the Initiative, Governor Sandoval announced an investment of $2 million for a state matching fund to ensure schools have the infrastructure they need to access high-speed broadband.

The Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology will administer and manage the fund in order to draw down additional federal funding to assist school districts and libraries with their network upgrades.

E-Rate Central is an e-rate consulting firm dedicated to simplifying the e-rate program for schools and libraries. OSIT has contracted with E-Rate Central to assist schools and libraries in applying for e-rate.

Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)

Schools & Libraries (E-Rate) Program includes E-Rate program information, tools and resources including how to get started, acronyms and forms, eligibility, how to apply, and samples and examples.