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March 15, 2023


Nicholas A. Brown

(301) 699-3500 x6241

FCC Awards Library $500,000 for Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program

Largo, Maryland – The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is the only public educational institution that serves the internet and technology access needs of Prince George’s County residents of all ages. The Library is pleased to announce a significant new investment in its digital equity work by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which awarded PGCMLS a $500,000 grant on March 15, 2023, as part of the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program.

“PGCMLS is honored to be entrusted with this investment from the FCC, which will help countless Prince Georgians access affordable home internet,” said John Pfeifer, Donor Engagement and Grants Officer. “This grant will enable the Library to hire a team of program and outreach specialists, and technology assistants to offer programs and support to help customers–in all portions of the county–take advantage of the ACP over the next two years.”

The Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program is a critical component of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), “which provides qualifying low-income households with discounts on broadband services and connected devices.” It was established under the auspices of the 117th Congress’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, offering households that meet eligibility criteria up to $30 off their home internet bills per month, and up to $75 off per month if the household is located on Tribal lands. 

Community partners, like PGCMLS, are engaged to help connect local residents with the ACP and access more affordable home internet. PGCMLS is one of four libraries in the country, including the New York Public Library, and four organizations in Maryland to receive this grant from the FCC, a testament to the PGCMLS’ national leadership in digital equity, literacy, and inclusion.

“The Affordable Connectivity Program is the nation’s largest-ever broadband affordability effort, supporting internet connections in more than 16 million households,” stated FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “These outreach grants will help us expand awareness in more communities, so we can continue the work to close the digital divide.” 

The Library’s existing digital equity, literacy, and inclusion programs and services are accessible via PGCMLS’ Technology Corner and at neighborhood branch libraries. Since the 1990s, PGCMLS has been Prince George’s County’s primary provider of free public computer and internet access. With a significant digital divide, including over 116,000 residents who lack access to home broadband internet (per the 2020 U.S. Census), the evolution of the Library’s technology and internet access programs continues to be an important factor in the County’s growth. Customers use in-branch and borrowable technology and internet resources to advance their education, access tutoring services, and apply for jobs. PGCMLS offers extensive in-branch resources, as well as borrowable Online 2Go Chromebooks with built-in unlimited internet data, Kajeet mobile WiFi hotspots, Playaway tablets for children, and a plethora of programs and digital literacy skills development resources, including LinkedIn Learning and NorthStar Digital Literacy. 

The ongoing expansion of PGCMLS’ digital equity, literacy, and inclusion programs and services is made possible by the FCC, Pull Up Fund, Capital One, PGCMLS Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Maryland State Library Agency, and City of Laurel. The FCC has previously invested in PGCMLS’ internet access programs through the E-Rate and Emergency Connective Fund programs. 

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About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve book lovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of the 2021 Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award for Workforce and Economic Development. Learn more at