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Posts Tagged ‘American Library Association’

JULY 12 — DAY OF ACTION TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY

July 12th, 2017 No comments

 

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking specific services or websites.  Title II of the Communication Act provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents ISPs from slowing down and blocking websites or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened a public proceeding to roll back net neutrality protections instituted in 2015, and subsequently affirmed by court rulings, and to classify home and mobile ISPs as common carriers under Title II.  The proposed changes to eliminate Net Neutrality may create an unfair advantage and allow priority of transmission solely based on financial ability to pay.

With the growth of Internet use for e-Government (filing taxes, applying for Medicare, etc.), job applications, and email usage, libraries are often the only available option for people who do not have access to a personal computer (PC) at home.  For WLS alone, the growth of public access PCs grew 60% from 2005-2015.  In addition, libraries have turned to electronic resources to meet demand and supplement their collections.  In 2015, WLS had over 789,000 electronic materials available to the over 900,000 residents of Westchester County.  Even slight differences in Internet transmission can make a significant difference to our digital information users.

Libraries, along with other not-for-profits, should not be penalized to achieve priority access simply due to smaller financial budgets. The same quality access should be afforded to online educational and noncommercial content as to entertainment and for-profit offerings.

Libraries rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential information.  Please help us make our voices heard by taking a few minutes to send an important email.  The sites below both have advocacy tools to make it easy:

American Library Association (ALA) – to send a message to the FCC to Save Net Neutrality

Battle for the Net – to be a part of July 12 Internet-wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality

The first comment deadline is July 17 – so take action TODAY!

Want to make aspirations a reality? Dialog, Listen, Act.

November 8th, 2013 No comments

Just back from a 3-day training with The Harwood Institute’s Public Innovation Lab. http://www.theharwoodinstitute.org/be-a-public-innovator/

 harwood logo

Key take-aways:

A community dialog on shared aspirations creates new possibilities, particularly a way to identify where small actions can begin to (re)build trust among community members.

Taking these small actions begins to allow us to tell a different story about ourselves. Imagine changing the narrative from how no one cares, to one where we talk about the good that emerged when several did care and act.

There are tools to do this and chief among them is community conversation about the things that matter to a community’s members – a dialog libraries and librarians are well placed to host.

The American Library Association is behind this program in a significant way as a means to inform the continuing evolution of libraries.

For a taste of some of the dialog to come, consider how you would respond to the four questions below. Want to be part of this discussion? Send me your email address and I’ll let you know when we schedule Community Conversations in 2014.

 

1. What kinds of community do you want to live in?

2. Why is that important to you?

3. How is this different from how you see things now?

4. What are some of the things that need to happen to create that kind of community?

 

Here’s to discovering our shared aspirations and fulfilling them together.

Westchester Library System 53rd Annual Meeting

December 7th, 2012 No comments

On November 14, 2012, Westchester Library System held its 53rd Annual Meeting at the Historic Hudson Valley Library’s new Headquarters & Library in Pocantico Hills. Even though many were still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, more than 50 people came out to represent our member libraries and enjoy each other’s company.

After the official business, WLS Executive Director, Terry Kirchner, gave a brief overview of the year’s past activities and unveiled WLS’s new logo.  An annual report was compiled for 2011-2012.  Again, due to Sandy, the full shipment of the reports was delayed and enough copies of the report were unavailable at the time of the meeting.  However, a distribution to each library will be made; and copies of the report are now available by contacting WLS Development Director, Pat Braja, at 914-231-2341.

Maureen Sullivan, President of the American Library Association, was the featured speaker.  Ms. Sullivan is a consultant to numerous libraries and a professor of practice in the Ph.D. program, Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions, at the Simmons College Gradual School of Library & Information Science.  She also was honored with ALA’s Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award in 1999. During the meeting, she was quick to start by noting how libraries are at the cutting edge of the changes happening in our world and how they are uniquely positioned with talented staff to help their communities embrace those changes.

However, there is a lot of pressure these days to perform differently; yet we must learn as we do.

Libraries are among the most trusted agencies; they value collaboration.  The promise of libraries to transform communities requires not civic engagement but community engagement.  We may not believe we have the skill to do it, but libraries are in a unique position to step in.  Ms. Sullivan spoke of a few of her Presidential initiatives:  one was to re-think ALA’s role as a professional organization and to get them to be more global.  The other is the training of library leaders as effective conveners.  Based on the book The Work of Hope by Richard C. Harwood, this initiative will seek to show library leaders how to identify the needs of their community and how they can step out to meet those needs in a meaningful way.  Some topics to be covered include:  being a coach; embracing the convener role; facilitating meetings; building sustainable personal relationships; and developing plans for follow-up.

In the weeks following our Annual Meeting, Ms. Sullivan announced an upcoming program in April 2013 entitled, “Strategic Liaisons: Game-Changing Conversations.”  This program will be held in conjunction with the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and will be held in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Money Smart Week & October Webinar

October 15th, 2012 2 comments

Your library can be part of ‘Money Smart Week @ your library,’ a national initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Federal Reserve Bank (Chicago) to provide financial literacy programming to libraries in an effort to empower libraries, and help community members better manage their personal finances.

All types of libraries are invited to participate by developing programming for individuals of all ages and all stages of life. Library programs can focus on a broad range of topics such as:

  • basic budgeting
  • managing student debt
  • retirement planning
  • home purchasing
  • saving money through couponing
  • how to prevent identity theft

Register for the webinar on October 18th to learn how to participate in ‘Money Smart Week @ your library’ on April 20-27, 2013.