Washington Public Libraries and the K-20 Network


On March 25, 1996 the K-20 Educational Network was established. The network is intended to deliver high-speed data and video access to educational institutions in Washington State.

In Phase I the network added connections to postsecondary institutions and Educational Service Districts. Phase II connected 294 of the state's 296 school districts, the public higher-education off-campus and extension centers, and the branch campuses of the community and technical colleges. Phase II was completed in December of 1999.

Phase III of the network added public libraries and private colleges to K-20. On October 25, 2001 the K-20 Governing Board voted to allow public libraries to join the K-20 network. The addition of libraries was partially subsidized by money obtained from a US West (Qwest) court settlement. All public libraries in Washington are eligible to join. Sharing this resource means substantial cost savings for many libraries while allowing our State to build a strong telecommunications infrastructure.

Public Library Participation

The Washington State Library (WSL) coordinates the addition of public libraries to the network, in cooperation with a number of other agencies and organizations involved in the operation of the K-20 network. WSL works closely with the K-20 Program Office and the University of Washington (UW) to ensure reliable, high-speed access to the Internet and online resources for libraries statewide.

Further information about the K-20 network is available at:
K-20 Education Network
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

How Can Your Public Library Join K-20?

The first step in connecting to the K-20 Network is contacting the IT consultants at the State Library. An on-site visit will be scheduled to discuss the benefits and steps to be followed in completing this process.

What Preparation and One-Time Costs are Involved in Connecting to K-20?

All connection costs are covered by the K-20 Network. This includes fees charged for circuit installation, circuit termination hardware (including the router), and any other expenses involved with bringing the line to the library and terminating the connection. All maintenance and future router upgrades will be paid for by K-20.

The library is responsible for the ongoing cost of the transport circuit and ISP charges. The library must also provide an analog telephone line terminating at the K-20 router which provides a dial-in access point for troubleshooting and software upgrades. In addition, a technology plan approved for the purpose of E-rate must also be on record with the Washington State Library.

For single location libraries, a firewall will be needed to connect to the K-20 Network. Larger libraries or those that must route their connections to other locations will need to provide a router.

For more information about this project, please contact:

Joe Olayvar
[email protected]
work: (360) 570-5579

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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).