AT&T Awards $25,000 Grant to RSU to Fund Online Library Catalog

The AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., has awarded a $25,000 AT&T “Excelerator” grant to the Rogers State University Foundation to help develop an online electronic catalog system for the Stratton Taylor Library.

With the grant, the university will replace its nine-year-old library catalog system with a new system that will provide students and faculty online access to library resources and selected electronic books and journals, said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

“This generous grant from the AT&T Foundation will allow us to continue making improvements to our online resources, further enhancing the educational experience of our students,” Wiley said. “Technology is a key ingredient of the higher education experience and is helping to make RSU more accessible to more Oklahomans.”

Wiley said the grant will help fund the upgrading of the RSU Integrated Library System, an online library catalog that will speed up the process of searching for library resources.

“Each year, AT&T awards Excelerator grants to nonprofit organizations that are planning to use technology to expand the reach of their services and increase the impact those services have on people,” said Don Cain, president, AT&T Oklahoma. “This online library catalog project at RSU certainly meets those qualifications for its innovative and creative use of today’s technology.”

Cain also commended state Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore, and state Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore, for their dedication in assisting nonprofit organizations like RSU and understanding the vital role technology plays in their success.

“In today’s fast-paced world, technology is a key component to the success of nonprofit organizations, which do not always have the funds to properly utilize time- and cost-saving technologies,” Jones said. “Personally seeing the benefits of technology at RSU demonstrates the increased need to properly fund and equip such efforts.”

Burrage said that RSU serves an important role as a center of higher education for Northeastern Oklahoma. “The university is making great strides in harnessing new technology to help empower the community and change the lives of those they serve on a day-to-day basis,” Burrage said.

RSU is one of 11 nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma and more than 480 nationally that are benefiting from nearly $6 million in competitive AT&T Excelerator technology grants from the AT&T Foundation.

Other AT&T Excelerator grant recipients in Oklahoma this year are: Bethesda Alternative, Norman; The Children’s Center, Bethany; Judith Karman Hospice, Stillwater; KIPP Reach Academy Charter School, Oklahoma City; the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okmulgee; the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman; the OSU Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa; United Community Action Program, Pawnee; Weatherford Hospital Authority, Weatherford; and Youth and Family Services, El Reno.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the AT&T Excelerator program, which has provided more than 2,500 technology grants equating to over $38.8 million to organizations across the country since 2002. The AT&T Excelerator program is a key component of AT&T AccessAll, a three-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to provide technology access to the organizations that work to strengthen communities.

AT&T Excelerator is a major philanthropic initiative that helps nonprofits fully integrate technology into their ongoing operations and community outreach. AT&T Excelerator grants also help nonprofit organizations put technology tools into the hands of the underserved populations they work with, providing resources such as Internet access, computer training, math and reading programs, and job-skills development. 

This year, AT&T Excelerator grants will help nonprofit organizations across the U.S. improve their operations and build stronger communities through Internet access, data networking, online outreach, staff technology capacity and pooled technology resources.

Since 1996, AT&T Inc. and the AT&T Foundation have contributed more than $439 million to nonprofit organizations across the country. The AT&T Foundation is among the five largest corporate foundations in the United States and was ranked by Forbes magazine among the most generous corporate foundations in 2006.