ALA Urging Libraries to Apply for E-Rate
ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline, Volume 10, Number 82, November 20, 2001
\"It has come to our attention that many libraries are deciding not to apply for the E-rate in Year 5. Many of these decisions are being made because of the requirements of the Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The following are points of information that, taken together, illustrate why this may be a premature decision for these libraries:
1) The application window for E-rate form 471 is November 5, 2001 to January 17, 2002. The trial date for ALA\'s case against CIPA before the United States District Court is February 14, 2001. The Courts will likely reach a decision on the lawfulness of CIPA requirements BEFORE libraries and
schools are required to install filtering technology.
2)If libraries do not begin the application process (i.e. file forms 470 and 471 within the application window) they will NOT be allowed to receive E-rate discounts this year, even if the Courts determine that CIPA is unconstitutional. ALA believes its case against CIPA is extremely strong and that libraries who are not beginning the application process will suffer unnecessarily.
3) CIPA is a requirement for E-rate recipients, not E-rate applicants. The forms 470 and 471 do not have CIPA certification components on them. They are simply an indication to SLD and to vendors that a library would
like to participate in the program. CIPA certification is not required until form 486 when a library or school indicates that it will accept funds. Even before CIPA, libraries and schools often received Funding Commitment
Decision Letters (FCDL) and then decided for a variety of reasons not to participate in the program and not to file a form 486.
4) The strongest statement against CIPA is one that clearly
demonstrates what the library user community loses because of these requirements. This goal is best met by being able to show through a FCDL exactly how much money a library is forfeiting because of CIPA. Now more than ever, libraries need to apply for the E-rate.\"
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