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Public Libraries & E-rate


Libraries get their discount based on the NSLP in the school district in which the main outlet is located. Libraries calculate their own urban/rural status based on their own outlets*, because of this the library discount may not match the school district's discount rate.

*Bookmobile and kiosks count as library outlets.

Rural/Urban Classification

  • Based on the 2010 U.S. Census data
  • 50%> of all library outlets are in rural area, the library is classified Rural
  • 50%< of all library outlets are in rural area, the library is classified Urban
  • example: if two libraries are rural and the system has a total of six outlets, the system is classified Urban

Determining the Central Outlet or Main Administrative Branch of a Library

Libraries with outlets/branches in more than one school district must use the total student counts from the school district in which the central outlet or main administrative branch of the library is located. For some libraries - especially those in large cities - identifying the building that would be considered the main branch is straightforward. However, in other situations - rural areas with outlets/branches of similar size and importance, regional library service systems, library consortia (as opposed to consortia of libraries), applicants indicate they are not sure how to determine which library outlet/branch should be considered the main branch.

USAC's suggested guidance is as follows:

  1. Where there is an identified and known central outlet or main library branch, use that location.
  2. If no library is identified as the "main" library branch, use the library location where official library business is transacted or email is sent. However, note that this location cannot be a non-instructional facility (NIF).
  3. If neither of the two preceding options fit the situation, the library can designate one library location as the "main" library. The library should document its rationale for designating that location as the "main" library and retain that documentation with its other program documentation so that it can be produced upon request.

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Public libraries and schools must enforce a policy of Internet safety and certify compliance with CIPA, this includes blocking and filtering Internet, to receive support for Internet access, Internet connections, and basic maintenance.
USAC Starting Services - CIPA

ALA Summary of the E-rate Category 2 Order

ALA "Got E-rate?" initiative

When is CIPA compliance required for IMLS CARES Act or LSTA funded purchases? (ALA Briefing)


Library Kiosk

An "eligible library kiosk" must meet the following criteria:

  • Be operated by a library established under Wis. Chapter 43.
  • Have the ability to check out items.
  • Have a collection of physical materials.
  • Have a connection to the ILS.
  • Have a dedicated space.
  • Be owned or leased by the library.
  • Have no paid staff operating it on a daily basis.
  • Be free of charge to the community.
For questions about this information, contact Bill Herman