Today, the American Library Association (ALA) sent letters to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) expressing important library issues that should be taken into consideration in forming their respective platforms.
Access to information is a central theme, emphasizing its importance to the public good.
Access to information is a core value of the library community. Libraries are major sources of information and, more generally, they serve as guardians of the public’s access to information. Americans must be ensured access to the information they need — regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or geographic barriers.
Providing affordable broadband to libraries is also a highlight of the message sent to the committees.
Libraries serve as a major Internet access point for many of our citizens — particularly for those in rural or less-affluent areas. Yet libraries often have great difficulty in obtaining broadband service because of cost. The E-rate program provides greatly needed financial support to these libraries — without which many libraries could not obtain broadband service. Strengthening and simplifying the E-rate program would help more libraries across the nation obtain badly needed assistance.
Other salient issues include protecting privacy rights, funding school libraries, and internet safety.