Last week, the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland appointed Alan Inouye, director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), to the inaugural Advisory Board for the university’s Master of Library Science (MLS) degree program.
This week, many libraries are inviting their communities to reconnect as part of a national effort called Outside the Lines. Since my personal experience of new acquaintances often includes an exclamation of “I didn’t know libraries did that,” and this experience is buttressed by Pew Internet Project research that finds that only about 23 percent of people who already visit our libraries feel they know all or most of what we do, the need to invite people to rethink libraries is clear.
Fifteen months after Edward Snowden provided the first documents describing the startling scope of the National Security Agency’s spying program, Congress has returned from August recess with a chance to vote on surveillance reform. Unfortunately, if the surveillance vote doesn’t happen in the coming weeks, it might not happen at all.
Reminder: The American Library Association (ALA) is encouraging librarians to participate in “My SSA,” a free webinar that will teach participants how to use My Social Security (MySSA), the online Social Security resource.
After schlepping the 176 pages of the E-rate modernization Order around since July 23 (when the Commission released the Order, voted on July 11), my bag is remarkably empty today. While I didn’t continually refer to it over the last month and a half, it has been a constant companion as we prepared our comments to the Commission on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that accompanied the July Order. I can unabashedly leave it behind since we filed our comments last night.
On August 19, 2014, Idaho had the privilege of hosting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael O’Rielly at LinkIDAHO’s Broadband Summit in Boise. He was the keynote speaker and moderated a panel discussion on “Filling the Gaps in Broadband Delivery in Rural and Remote Areas.”
On September 24, 2014, WebJunction will offer a free webinar on the Affordable Care Act (Register now). This webinar will provide an overview of the 2015 open enrollment period and review opportunities to connect community members to health marketplace information through library service priorities and partnerships.
For those of you following the American Library Association’s (ALA) E-rate year, we are working through the fifth major installment in a series of actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), responding to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) issued in July as part of the E-rate Modernization Order. And, because we have been immersed in E-rate pretty steadily for a year, the topic “E-rate Modernization” is really the only answer to questions about what I do.
“The Ferguson Library has been an oasis of calm since the town’s residents erupted in anger at the police after a Ferguson cop shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9. […] As the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year for more than a week, teachers set up shop at the Ferguson library, providing activities and instruction for children awaiting the start of class.”—Ferguson Library Becomes Refuge for Adults and Children Amid Strife
Copyright discourse has been knocked off its moorings. Rights holders would have you believe that the foundational purpose of the copyright law is to protect their exclusive ability to reap the financial windfalls their works generate (case in point: the Authors Guild’s recent derision of HathiTrust and the Google Books Library Project as “ad hoc approaches to digitization that endanger our literary culture”). Although this argument is just as unconvincing as it is unappealing to most ordinary Americans, it has come to be reflected in our public policy because, quite simply, it is supported by interest groups that support the politicians who control our copyright law and regulations. Chief among these groups is the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood’s trade association and lobbying leviathan. Political contributions database Open Secrets reveals that the MPAA has given $5,500 in contributions to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) in the 2014 election cycle and the Wall Street Journal reports that the organization contributed about $600,000 to organizations that play a political role in 2012.
The American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy is joining other library organizations, libraries, museums and archives to build a growing presence at Austin’s annual South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU and Interactive festivals. Together, we hope to connect, inform, persuade and change perceptions of libraries among established and emerging leaders in the technology and education spheres. We need your help to bring our programs to the SXSW stage!
“The speed of change related to technology and the linked policy dimensions is breathtaking. Similarly, library roles and demands are evolving, and so the library community’s national policy priorities need to be critically reviewed and realigned accordingly”—Understanding a turbulent world to develop library policy agenda
Showed Wall-E to my middle school Robotics class on Friday. During the scene where we see the portraits of all the captains, one girl yelled out excitedly, “There’s a girl!” because one of the captains was a woman.
Though you still have to deal with due dates, hold lists and occasionally clumsy software, libraries, at least for now, have one killer feature that the others don’t: e-books you actually want to read.
“A library is a miracle. A place where you can learn just about anything, for free. A place where your mind can come alive.”—The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne (via seattlebooks)