The current issue (Vol. 22, No. 1, 2013) of the Maine Policy Review is an extraordinary compilation of library and information science articles. Though naturally there is some focus on Maine, the articles speak broadly to the current state and future directions of librarianship and the knowledge society. I recommend that you take a look at the table of contents and peruse the articles of interest.
From my perspective in ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and from ALA’s Digital Content Working Group, there are several articles that I’d like to highlight. Linda Lord, chair of our E-rate Task Force, describes the role of the Maine State Library and how it differs from other libraries in Maine as well as some other state libraries, in her article “What Makes the Maine State Library Unique?”
Mainers are concerned about e-books, just as the rest of us. This issue features two heavyweights in the library e-book lending debate. Tom Allen, president of the Association of American Publishers, talks about the challenges of library e-book lending from the publisher perspective in his article “Book Publishers and Libraries: Historic Partners Facing a Disruptive Technology.” As counterpoint, our own president Maureen Sullivan offers a bit more optimistic view in her article “Libraries and Book Publishers.” Though noting the differences in some of our positions, Sullivan appreciates the willingness of publishing executives to engage with ALA in a frank and respectful way, and notes the progress we’ve achieved in the past 18 months.
OITP assistant director Marijke Visser discusses library roles in digital literacy in her article “Digital Literacy and Public Policy through the Library Lens.” She distills discussions from our Digital Literacy Task Force that recently completed its work. Libraries–of all types–have an important place in the information ecosystem to advance digital literacy, from the most rudimentary training to more advanced concepts such as relevancy, credibility, copyright, and privacy.
Other articles focus on an array of topics from school libraries and the Digital Public Library of America to institutional repositories and libraries in the community. Hope you enjoy!