LDND InfoCenter


Virginia Libraries & the E-Rate Program

Created out of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the E-Rate Program is intended to provide discounts on telecommunications services, internet access, and internal connections to libraries and schools.  The “E” stands for Education.  The program is administered by the Schools and Libraries Division, which is a part of the Universal Service Administrative Company, on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission.

The Library Development and Networking Division assists public libraries in understanding the E-Rate process, navigating the rules and regulations, preparing technology plans, and completing applications.


    • 2020-21 Library of Virginia E-Rate Report
    • Introduction to E-Rate [E-Rate for Virginia Libraries – 10.15.20]
        • This one-hour webinar is an introduction to E-Rate and is designed to provide a high-level overview of the federal E-rate discount program as it relates to library entities, including the procurement process, program timeline, and required documents. (Presented by E-Rate Central)
        • Slides
        • Watch the Intro to E-Rate video
    • Preparing for Funding Year 2021 [E-Rate for Virginia Libraries – 10.20.20]
        • A one-hour webinar detailing the procurement process, program timeline, eligible services, and current and proposed rules in advance of Funding Year 2021-22. (Presented by E-Rate Central)
        • Slides
        • Watch the Preparing Funding video

Connecting Our Communities:

The Library of Virginia, the Governor’s broadband office, and the VCTA – Broadband Association of Virginia will present affordable broadband connection options and review essential broadband relief funding sources such as the Emergency Broadband (EBB)Program and the Emergency Connectivity Fund.  These programs provide and promote low-cost internet programs to low-income households. The EBB is an ISP (Internet Service Provider) managed program, not a library managed program like E-rate. Public libraries can a vital role in supporting these programs and connecting our communities.

Click here to watch the recording

E-Rate Central – Virginia Libraries Team:

Contracts with the Library of Virginia to provide consulting services for E-Rate applicants.  E-Rate Central has an entire team assigned to work with Virginia libraries. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the team who will be working with you to ensure a successful filing process.

    • Mel Van Patten, CEMP – a Certified E-Rate Management Professional, (CEMP) and the former President of the E-Rate Management Professionals Association. Contact: mvanpatten@e-ratecentral.com or (516) 801-7828.
    • Kerri Dillon, CEMP – an Account Manager with E-Rate Central, a Certified E-Rate Management Professional and a member of the E-Rate Management Professionals Association. Contact: kdillon@e-ratecentral.com or (516) 801-7808.
    • Barbara Rikard – years of experience in various industries, including banking, medical office practice management, legal and IT. Has a strong passion for customer service and great organizational skills. Contact: brikard@e-ratecentral.com or (516) 801-7826
    • Carl Parker – cparker@e-ratecentral.com
    • Eric Silverstein – esilverstein@e-ratecentral.com
    • Michael Ocampo – mocampo@e-ratecentral.com
    • Melissa Zaruba – remains a valuable resource for the VA Libraries Team at E-Rate Central, although she is not working as a main E-Rate contact this year.

Questions?  Contact:

Mel Van Patten
E-Rate Central
(516) 801-7828

Cindy Church
State E-Rate Coordinator
Library of Virginia

This site is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is managed by the The Library of Virginia Library Development and Networking Division.