BETHEL, Conn. – The Bethel Public Library has received a grant of $25,100 to install a high-speed fiber connection to the Connecticut Education Network, which will enhance the library's Internet services.
"Libraries are no longer merely home to countless shelves of books: today they are hubs of varying informational resources," state Rep. Stephen Harding (R-107) said in a statement.
The grant from the Connecticut State Library Board will add resources to the Bethel Public Library, which already offers free access to computer Internet services.
Established in 2000, the Connecticut Education Network delivers reliable, high-speed Internet access, data transport and value-added services throughout Connecticut at equitable rates.
“The staff at the Bethel Public Library work so diligently to provide access to high-quality tools and resources that residents can use to expand their education or just enjoy a new story,” said Harding. “It is a highly valued establishment for so many families in our community, making this grant very much deserved and appreciated.”
According to the Library Board, public libraries serve as critical gateways to information outside one's own community, and "in the Information Age this role has become even more important."
Libraries offer free access to research and other networks online, which helps close the digital divide. "As reliance upon libraries to provide broadband telecommunication services increases, it is essential to have universal high-speed connectivity available," Harding said.
The connection at the Bethel Public Library is expected to be completed just after the New Year.
Harding, a Republican, represents the 107th House District of Brookfield, Bethel and Danbury.