From the ALA Director 4/4: Office for Information Technology Policy

Office for Information Technology Policy 



E-rate Advocacy Continues

In March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dived into rural broadband needs and challenges during an all-day workshop that took place in Washington, D.C.  The workshop brought together educators, decision makers, policy and technology experts, and telecommunications leaders to help the FCC generate policies that will impact high-speed internet deployment in rural, high-cost areas.  Maine State Librarian Linda Lord discussed the role of libraries in rural communities on a panel highlighting the critical need for high-speed broadband in rural areas for individual consumers, businesses, and community anchor organizations.


OITP Director Discusses Ebooks at Paris & Connecticut Conferences

In March, OITP director Alan Inouye participated in the Connecticut State Library’s Ebook Symposium, a one-day event where library and publishing experts explored the current state of ebook affairs and the future of ebook lending for libraries, publishers, and readers.  Later that month, Inouye traveled to France to discuss the U.S. library ebook lending ecosystem at the Salon du Livre (in English, the “Paris Book Fair”).  As a presenter at both events, Inouye discussed the large number of challenges faced by libraries working to meet patron demands for ebooks, including concerns related to fair pricing, equitable access to ebook titles, digital preservation, privacy, digital rights management and accommodations for readers with limited vision.


OITP, OIF Join SXSW Technology Policy Discussions

ALA leaders joined technology policy conversations at the South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU and Interactive conferences in Austin from March 7–11, 2014.  ALA staff and other library organizations engaged attendees, panelists, policy-makers, startups, and venture capitalists about the ongoing importance and relevance of libraries and librarians to the tech industry. SXSW is a premier technology and policy conference featuring some of the world’s most forward-looking thinkers, emerging technologies, and inspiring digital creators.


ALA Seeks Candidates for 2014 Google Policy Summer Fellowship

For the seventh consecutive year, the American Library Association is pleased to participate in the Google Policy Fellows program.  For the summer of 2014, the selected fellow will spend ten weeks in residence at the ALA Washington Office to learn about national policy and complete a major project.  Google provides the $7,500 stipend for the summer, but the work agenda is determined by ALA and the selected fellow.  Applications are due by Monday, April 14, 2014. ALA encourages all interested graduate students to apply, especially those in library and information science-related academic programs.


This was excerpted from EBD # 12.20 2013-2014 Report to Council and Executive Board April 4, 2014 from Keith Michael Fiels Executive Director.

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