The EDGE Community Technology Center

Springfield, MO

The EDGE opened to the public in Spring of 2002 thanks to grants provided by the Department of Education (Office of Vocational and Adult Education), The Institute of Museums and Library Services and the Jeannette Musgrave Foundation. The project is currently supported by the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

The EDGE is a 3,000 square foot Community Technology Center located in the renovated lower level of the 100-year-old Midtown Carnegie Branch Library. The facility contains a 12-computer hands-on training room adjacent to a 4-computer study/demonstration room with tables and seating, a SMARTBoard, and 4 laptops. There is also a small conference room, additional tutoring space and a reception area.

Basic computer software and Internet training for adults is the main emphasis at The EDGE. Self-paced tutorials are available for more advanced software training. Subject specific Internet classes and Workforce related courses are also available.

All sessions are free and open to the public. A printed schedule of all classes is available at any Springfield Greene County Library. Our schedule is also available online.

Mission Statement
The mission of The EDGE Community Technology Center is to help close the digital divide by providing a dynamic, safe and inviting environment where members of the community can come to access the newest technology and/or to acquire the training and support needed to help them use information and the power of technology to improve their lives.

The EDGE fulfills the Library’s mission to provide opportunities for lifelong learning, self-improvement and self-expression and to meet the educational, informational and recreation needs of the community.

Southern California Library

Los Angeles, CA

The Southern California Library is a people’s library dedicated to documenting and preserving the histories of communities in struggle for justice and using our collections to address the challenges of the present so that all people have the ability, resources, and freedom to make their own histories.

The Library serves teachers, students, community-based organizations, community members, and traditional scholars/researchers, with an emphasis on historically underrepresented, poor communities of color, including South L.A. where we are located. We address the complex issues facing these communities—poverty, unemployment, homelessness, community conflict—by offering services and programs in three key areas:

(1) documenting and providing access to L.A. community history
– through our unique archive holdings that support critical understandings of L.A.;

(2) providing programming to foster cultural, media, and political literacies in ways that illuminate their relationships to power
– including book readings, dialogues, film screenings, art/archival exhibits, and print/digital publishing and other related products;

(3) designing and hosting leadership programs, internships, workshops, and digital media training to strengthen the capacity of our constituents to make change.

Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center

Urbana, IL

In its tenth year, the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) is a grassroots organization committed to using media production and distribution as tools for promoting social and economic justice. The UCIMC fosters the creation and distribution of media, art, and narratives emphasizing underrepresented voices and perspectives, and promotes empowerment and expression through media and arts education. To this end, we own and operate a Community Media and Arts Center located in the historic post office building in downtown Urbana, Illinois. The Center includes a radio station, media production studios, a performance venue, art gallery, artist in residence studios, a library, public access computer labs, bike repair center, and meeting spaces. The UCIMC runs a 24/7 low power radio station, publishes a monthly newspaper, operates a daily website, and hosts numerous community listservs, all freely available to the community.

The UCIMC is strongly supported by and embedded in communities with little access mainstream media. The roots of poverty lay in a lack of access to participation in the decisions that affect one’s life, including the decisions about the allocation of resources and power. The UCIMC works to eradicate poverty through empowering residents to “become the media” - amplifying unheard voices, inspiring and uniting those who work for change, and helping to shift and reframe public discourse. For example, residents pressing for the clean up of a toxic waste site in their neighborhood used UCIMC-facilitated investigative journalism and organizing to get the city and EPA involved in cleaning the site.Over 44,000 free books have been shipped to Illinois prisoners through UCIMC’s Books to Prisoners program. The UCIMC is an official Community Technology Center in Illinois and is a key partner in our community’s NTIA application that was just awarded $22.5 million for broadband infrastructure.

Transmission Project