Posts Tagged ‘Westchester County’


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!

Give the gift of literacy!

December 18th, 2012 No comments

The gift giving season is upon us.  As a technology expert, I’m often asked for recommendations and gift ideas.  As is usually the case, there’s no shortage of new techno gadgets and gizmos on the market this year. However, I also like to recommend gifts that have a practical purpose, in addition to being fun to use.

Literacy rates in New York are frightening.  Statewide more than 20% lack basic literacy skills.  While in Westchester County the statistic is slightly better at 13%, there’s still much to be done.  Giving children a great tool to help them learn to read at as early an age as possible, while also giving them a toy they’ll love to play with, seems a perfect fit. This year, for children ages one through eight, I recommend Tag and Tag Jr.  Reading System Products from Leapfrog.This product is nothing short of amazing;  it teaches everything from the very basics of letter identification, phonics, and sounding out words, to reading their very first full book!

So this year, consider giving the gift of literacy to a child you know.  This also would make a great gift to donate to the many wonderful toy drives such as Toys for Tots. Here is a link so you can find the nearest Toys for Tots drop-off center.

Happy Holidays!

Robert A. Caluori, Jr., Director of Information Technology