Saint Paul Public Library Extends to Giant Wash Coin Laundry

I love this idea – I stopped by the laundromat earlier today to check it out. There room was full and the vibe was great. Here’s the info from a press release from the St Paul Library

Mayor Melvin Carter III will launch the new “Wash and Learn” program at Giant Wash (1675 Rice Street, 55117) on May 12, 2018, at 11 a.m. Giant Wash Laundry will host a Free Laundry Day in celebration, and offer free wash and dry to community members who register between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. All attendees will have opportunities to participate in librarian-lead learning workshops and take home free books and educational resources.

“Wash & Learn is an example of the forward-thinking ideas and partnerships we intend to advance throughout Saint Paul,” says Mayor Carter. “Meeting people where they are with Library programs, materials, and resources makes perfect sense. It is through these unique partnerships and simple solutions that we build a city that works for all of us.”

SPPL partnered with Minnesota State Library Services and Libraries Without Borders (LWB), a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., to launch Wash & Learn at Giant Wash. The program aims to extend SPPL’s efforts to close the digital divide among residents of Saint Paul. LWB will install laptops and WiFi hotspots at the laundromat, alongside bookshelves with materials customers can read on site or check out and take home.

When I was there, they thought they might clean up to 20,000 pounds of laundry. It looked like the kids had just picked up on the computer and were pretty intent. And two kids had just won bikes. The plan moving forward is to have librarians in the laundromat a couple hours each Saturday until October. It’s a great opportunity to do some one-on-one digital and information literacy lessons. A great model for other communities. In fact turns out Stillwater will try something on Monday and Anoka County is looking at a similar program.

MN Broadband Task Force May 2018 meeting notes: Updates, Cyber Security, Education Superhighway and Blockchain

Today the Broadband Task Force got updates from the Office of Broadband Development and on the legislative activity. They discussed plans for the final report. They also heard from experts on cyber security at the State, the Education Superhighways (nice update on e-rate and impact on Minnesota Schools) and a presentation on bitcoin and blockchain.

Full notes: Continue reading

West Central promotes MN border to border state grants at the Capitol

The Wadena Pioneer Journal reports…

West Central Telephone’s President Bruce Kinnunen and General Manager/CEO Chad Bullock recently participated in legislative visits in St. Paul with the Minnesota Telecom Alliance for their annual Day on the Hill event. Kinnunen and Bullock visited with Senator Paul Utke, District 2, Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, District 8 and Representative John Poston, District 9A while at the state capital.

There were 50 participants at Day on the Hill representing 25 telecoms including West Central Telephone. The Minnesota Telecom Alliance and the Minnesota Cable Communications Association held a Legislative Reception that was well attended. Attendees included 30 House members and 11 Senators.

The focus of this year’s Day on the Hill meeting was on the Border to Border Broadband grant program, and its successful efforts to continue broadband mapping and assisting with other state agencies to help reduce the time it takes to deploy broadband.

Conference Committee on Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (SF3656) meets today (Wed) bill includes broadband funding

Here’s the latest from the Ways and Means Committee on the bill that discusses funding for the broadband grants.

Conference Committee on SF3656 – Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill Meeting Notice
Committee:  Conference Committee on SF3656 – Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
3:00 PM or the Call of the Chair
1200 Senate Building
Committee Chair:
Representative Jim Knoblach
Senator Julie Rosen
The House has the Gavel
Time Note:
The Conference Committee will meet at 3:00PM (or the Call of the Chair).
The Conference Committee will review bill language.

You can find documents online:

Additionally, as a reminder, documents pertaining to the various fiscal areas in the Senate File 3656 Conference Committee have been posted to the respective finance committee pages on the House website.  These documents include Revisor Side-by-Sides; Nonpartisan Side-by-Side Bill Summary, and Fiscal Tracking Spreadsheets.
There is also a link at the Revisor’s Page here:

I started to pull out parts related to broadband last night – assuming there have been no changes since 9 pm or so here’s latest version from SF3656Continue reading

Next MN Broadband Task Force meeting – May 10 in St Paul

The MN Broadband Task Force is meeting tomorrow. I will plan to be there to take notes. Here are the details…

Department of Employment and Economic Development
James J. Hill Conference Room
332 Minnesota St., Suite E200
St. Paul, MN 55101
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Introductions, approval of minutes, public comments

10:10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Update from Office of Broadband Development

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Discussion of Task Force Annual Report Structure and Timeline

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Cybersecurity Update from Minnesota IT Services

  • Johanna Clyborne, Commissioner, Minnesota IT Services
  • Aaron Call, Chief Information Security Officer, Minnesota IT Services

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Education Super Highway

  • Jeff Kang, Greer Ahlquist and Madeline Zdeblick

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. An Introduction to Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

  • Stephanie Stoudt-Hansen

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Wrap-up/June Meeting Plans

Webinar May 2: Net Neutrality Primer for Digital Inclusion Practitioners

I thought folks might be interested…

If you care about digital divides, you should care about net neutrality.

Please join NDIA and Public Knowledge for a webinar linking digital inclusion and net neutrality. The webinar will feature experts working on net neutrality inside the Beltway, at the state level, and on the ground to answer your questions, give you context to talk about the issue, and offer opportunities for you to get involved. Bring your questions!


  • Chris Lewis – Vice President, Public Knowledge
  • Ernesto Falcon – Legislative Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Mark Stanley – Director of Operations & Communications, Demand Progress
  • Facilitator: Angela Siefer – Executive Director, NDIA

Wednesday, May 2, at 1PM ET /10AM PT.


Minneapolis Hosting Community Planning Meetings in May – technology is on the agenda

I’m sharing this for folks who are in Minneapolis but also for folks who aren’t but are looking for a model to get their community members together. They have 6 topics that relate to technology:

  • Access to Technology
  • Technology in the Economy
  • Technology in the City Enterprise
  • Data-Driven Decisions
  • Innovations in Transportation and Infrastructure

Here’s the info on upcoming meetings:

Engage in Person at Community Meetings in May

Please attend one of the interactive open houses listed below. Each event will feature the same family-friendly activities created by local artists, as well as free food from local businesses. Throughout the event, you can view and comment on draft policies and maps that are intended to achieve the plan goals. You will also have the opportunity to sit down with city planners and fellow attendees for in-depth discussions on specific action steps listed in the draft plan.

Saturday, May 12, 2018
Northeast Recreation Center, 1530 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Monday, May 14, 2018
MLK Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
North Commons Recreation Center, 1801 N James Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall #300, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Powderhorn Recreation Center, 3400 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Can’t attend one of the meetings?

  • The complete draft plan is available at com, with opportunities for comment throughout the site. Learn more about ways to comment online here.
  • Follow us on Twitter @Mpls2040
  • Sign up for our email list
  • Download the Meeting-in-a-Box tool kit (available for download mid-May) to host your own engagement meetings and report back