Tag Archives: internet

Nebraska Library Commission Partners with Medica to Improve Public Libraries’ Internet Access

April 9, 2024

Andrew “Sherm” Sherman

Nebraska Library Commission Partners with Medica to Improve Public Libraries’ Internet Access

In partnership with Medica, the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) can assist Nebraska’s public libraries with the purchase and installation of new network technology to improve Internet access and digital equity for their communities.

The funding provided by Medica will be utilized to provide libraries with up-to-date and secure networks and WiFi for public use that can support current and future high-speed Internet connections. “Medica is pleased to provide funding to the Nebraska Library Commission to help local libraries improve internet access and digital equity in their communities,” said Pat Bourne, Medica Market Leader for Nebraska.

Many of Nebraska’s small and rural public libraries have challenges accessing the funds and resources needed to select, purchase, and install new technology. The funding provided by Medica combined with the technical resources provided by the NLC will provide the assistance these libraries need to support their communities in this increasingly connected world.

The NLC will initially be contacting libraries that may need assistance with their networks based on the recent Public Library Survey results or have an identified need via the Technology Reviews that have been conducted so far. Libraries interested in upgrading their network can contact Andrew “Sherm” Sherman to arrange for a Technology Review so the current state of their networks can be determined and needed upgrades identified.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”


The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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Pretty Sweet Tech: Who Regulates the Internet?

If somebody walked up to your library’s reference desk and asked “who regulates the internet? What if I see something bad?” What would you say?

Honestly, this is a tough question because the answer varies so much. By and large, there isn’t much regulation from any one governing body in the United States. Let’s dig a little deeper into this idea by breaking it down into smaller categories:

Online Advertising

Ads online are regulated on several levels:

Federal: The Federal Trade Commission has a set of resources available to learn about guidelines, rules, and recommendations for buyers and sellers online.

State: According to Truth in Advertising.org, Nebraska has a Consumer Protection Division through the Office of the Attorney General that files complaints against false advertisements.  The also includes a link to Nebraska’s advertising laws.

Self-Regulated: Many website and organizations are also setting their own policies for advertisements on their pages. A thorough example is Google’s Ads Policies.

Online Content

Removing harmful content like fake news, hate speech, instructions for how to perform criminal acts, and other poor online behavior is largely self-regulated from site to site. The internet is a big place and it’s hard for a large regulatory authority to grapple with that much content. Right now it’s most’y up to websites and all of us to self-regulate and report harmful content directly to sites like YouTube, Facebook, or Google.

Access to Internet

Federal: The Federal Trade Commission has a set of policies in place for access to the internet and how people can be charged for services. These policies only pertain to communications online, like email, VoIP services, and some connectivity issues.

The debate over Net Neutrality has been raging for quite some time.  Rather than hash out the whole debate in this post, check out the current state of affairs by looking at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Net Neutrality 2019 Legislation. There’s a chart on this page that will let you know what Nebraska is doing in comparison to other states. You can also check out this video: BBC What is Net Neutrality?


The internet is basically a whole other world. Under which regulatory authority would you place internet services? The internet does communication, data collection, advertising, online commerce, and pretty much everything under the sun. Who regulates what?

For now, libraries can start connecting people with existing resources, and start to get people thinking about what they would like to see out of the internet. What helps, and what hurts in the world wide web?

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