“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)
Join ALA and our new President, Courtney Young, for a Twitter chat on Tuesday, July 29th, from 6-7pm CDT. We’ll discuss what it’s like to be ALA President, what kinds of things Courtney has been doing since her inauguration on July 1st, and what she’ll be concentrating on during her yearlong presidency. To suggest and vote on questions ahead of time, go to http://bit.ly/julychatwithcourtney.
This is your chance to find out what it’s like to be the President of the most awesome association in the world. Join us on the hashtag #ALAchat on Twitter to be part of the conversation.
You can follow Courtney on Twitter at @librarycourtney and ALA at @ALAlibrary.
“Today America, libraries and the people who come to us for assistance have cause for renewed optimism. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act recognizes that libraries are often the first places Americans seek when they need job training or job search assistance. We’re proud of what libraries have accomplished with meager resources over the last several years. Now, with the support of this legislation, we look forward to a brighter future for the American workforce libraries have served for more than a century.”—
The enduring legacy of J Dilla has been further reinforced today with news that the pioneering hip-hop producer’s MPC and Moog synthesizer (one specifically made by Robert Moog for the beatmaker) will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
The ALA Washington is getting word from the Hill that a possible amendment to the House Financial Services Appropriations bill that would limit the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) ability to increase funding to the Federal E-rate programs has been withdrawn.
Sources in the House Democratic Leadership tell ALA that the majority chose not to proceed with the amendment due to widespread opposition from the library and school community.