Standing for Libraries at National Library Legislative Day

May 15, 2014

On May 5–6, more than 420 librarians, patrons, teens, and parents gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss library issues with members of Congress during the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). This marked the 40th anniversary of the event, organized by ALA’s Washington Office. ALA President Barbara Stripling, along with ALA division president Starr LaTronica (Association for Library … Continue reading Standing for Libraries at National Library Legislative Day


Responding to the Second Wave of the Digital Divide

May 7, 2014

Progress has been made in closing the digital divide between computer-based tools and infrastructure, but an equally debilitating digital divide in internet literacy affects the American public, according to “Responding to the Second Wave of the Digital Divide,” a briefing of local government, public-policy, and library experts held May 6 at the National Press Club … Continue reading Responding to the Second Wave of the Digital Divide




Putting NSA Under the Microscope

February 3, 2014

During the ALA Washington Office Update on Saturday morning, Patrice McDermott, executive director of Open the Government, introduced Spencer Ackerman, national security editor for the Guardian US, who discussed details of how the newspaper acquired information and documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden and came to the decision to publish them. Before Ackerman took the podium, McDermott shared her … Continue reading Putting NSA Under the Microscope




The Government Shutdown and Libraries

October 1, 2013

Here’s a snapshot of how the library community is affected until the budget situation is resolved: The Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public, and its website is inaccessible, except for THOMAS, Congress.gov, and Cataloger’s Desktop. However, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine still offers access to LC and other agencies before their websites went dark. The National … Continue reading The Government Shutdown and Libraries


How the Marrakesh Treaty Opens Vistas for Print-Disabled Readers

September 10, 2013

As the first treaty devoted to copyright exceptions, the June 28, 2013, agreement represents a significant development in international copyright law. (The 1886 Berne Convention contains exceptions for quotations, illustration in teaching, and news reporting.) ALA worked closely with the US delegation throughout the negotiating process. Through the Library Copyright Alliance, ALA’s views were represented … Continue reading How the Marrakesh Treaty Opens Vistas for Print-Disabled Readers


Libraries Stress Neutrality As They Prep for Queries on Health Care Law

September 3, 2013

Library workers nationwide are educating themselves about the next implementation phase of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is slated to begin October 1. On that date, the Health Insurance Marketplace opens to an estimated 7 million people who are uninsured so they can select a health-insurance policy. “Libraries have a long tradition of making … Continue reading Libraries Stress Neutrality As They Prep for Queries on Health Care Law


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Expanding Privacy Legislation to Include Ebooks

August 28, 2013

Arizona House Bill 2165, which was enacted in April, adds digital books and electronic records to the state’s existing privacy law, stipulating that anyone who releases information about a user’s library activities will be charged with a misdemeanor. “Over the years we’ve dealt with internet privacy for many different reasons, including identity theft,” Arizona Rep. … Continue reading Expanding Privacy Legislation to Include Ebooks


Tax Battle in the Bluegrass State

August 27, 2013

Recent lawsuits against libraries in Kentucky continue to reverberate across the state, ever since two separate circuit-court rulings were handed down in April 2013 that found Campbell County Public Library and Kenton County Public Library had improperly raised their millage rates since 1979 and 1967, respectively. The decisions stated that the libraries did not follow … Continue reading Tax Battle in the Bluegrass State