High-Speed Broadband in California Libraries: An Initiative of the California State Library

Project Goal

To bring high-speed broadband to all California public libraries by connecting them to the California Research and Education Network (CalREN)—a high-capacity 3,800-mile fiber-optic-based network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and others working in California's vital public-serving institutions.

Investment Since 2014

The project is supported by the California State Library and by:

  • An annual appropriation of $2,475,000.
  • $6 million one-time funding which enables the California State Library to provide
    Technology Improvement Grants that help libraries connect to CalREN.

Results and Impact

  • 126 of California's 184 public library jurisdictions are connected or connecting to CalREN.*
  • 531 of California's 1,119 main and branch libraries are connected or connecting to CalREN.
  • Up to 15 new jurisdictions will begin connecting to CalREN in 2017.

Staff in connected libraries report** that:

  • Their libraries are:

    – providing better support for individual and group online learning,
    – introducing new services and programs,
    – better able to support economic development in the community, and
    – receiving fewer complaints about Internet speed.

  • Community members can use their mobile devices effectively in the library.
  • Library staff can work more efficiently and have access to improved training and professional development opportunities.
Coming soon

– a searchable database of connected and connecting libraries

– a printable infographic illustrating program impact

* 57 jurisdictions have been connected to CalREN by the California State Library's broadband project; 35 are currently being connected by the broadband project team; 34 were connected before the current project started and receive support from the broadband project aggregator.

** Library directors are asked to complete an evaluation survey when their libraries have been connected to CalREN for twelve months. The survey was first issued in December 2016 to 14 library jurisdictions. The survey was completed in 13 library jurisdictions.

infoClick on the titles below for more information.

Testimonials from Library Staff

Technology Improvement Grants

Project Partners

2016-2017 Technology Improvement
Grant Program: Information for Libraries


More Information And Resources