Bell Atlantic New Jersey Accelerates Libraries 2000 Plan for Statewide Telecommunications Network

Bell Atlantic New Jersey Accelerates Libraries
2000 Plan for Statewide Telecommunications

$100,000 Investment Brings Library Resources to Broader

April 29, 1999


Soraya Rodriguez,

LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- Bell Atlantic New Jersey will award
nearly $100,000 in grants to six libraries statewide that will use

telecommunications technology to broaden their base of patrons. Last
year, nine other libraries benefited from a Bell Atlantic $100,000 grant.
The grants are part of Access New Jersey (ANJ), a Bell Atlantic initiative
which is designed to bring the benefits of the Information Age to the
state's schools, libraries and urban areas. "We are proud to partner
with the New Jersey Library Association in the implementation of the
Libraries 2000 Plan which provides Internet and World Wide Web access
to all New Jersey residents through their local public libraries," said
William M. Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic New Jersey.
"This grant will expand the scope of information sharing between
institutions allowing patrons to conduct research and share common
resources regardless of their location."

Libraries seeking grants submitted proposals to the New Jersey Library
Association (NJLA) earlier this year. Applicants were required to
demonstrate how they would use high-speed telecommunications
technology to expand access to collections and databases. The six winners
were announced during the NJLA's annual conference in Long Branch on
April 29. Over the past year, under the ANJ program, Bell Atlantic has
provided schools and libraries with $9.4 million of equipment and $13.6
million in discounts on telecommunication services to schools and
libraries. During the next few weeks, Bell Atlantic officials will visit the
winning libraries to present grant checks.

The Winners

Asbury Park Public Library (APPL) -- This grant will allow
the APPL to establish an electronic information and training link with
Substance Abuse Resources, Inc., for its substance abuse prevention
programs in Monmouth County.

Bradley Beach Public Library (BBPL) -- BBPL will create a
three-way electronic partnership with the borough's K-8 elementary school
and the Youth Recreation Center.

Dunellen Public Library (DPL) -- This project will provide the
developmentally disabled and their care-givers access to the computerized
library at three locations in Middlesex County. In partnership with the
Cerebral Palsy Association, the DPL will establish three computerized
work stations and will design a Web site for disability resources that can
be used by all.

Elizabeth Public Library (EPL) -- Children's Services of
Elizabeth and EPL will design a joint reading room program for children
living in disadvantaged circumstances by creating an electronic link
between students and teachers.

Piscataway Public Library and South Brunswick Public
-- Piscataway and South Brunswick Public Libraries in
conjunction with the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium will
broaden a shared regional data-base and the Internet.

Mount Laurel Library (MLL) -- Two senior citizen housing
complexes will benefit from the expansion of services at the MLL. By
establishing electronic centers at each of the residential facilities, the
Library will reach an older population that has not yet benefited from
emerging information technologies.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of
the new communications and information industry. With 43 million
telephone access lines and nine million wireless customers worldwide,
Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice
and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's
largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are
also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global
communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.