Yesterday, the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office hosted the 2013 Google Policy Fellows in a lively discussion about libraries and national public policy and lobbying. The luncheon conversation, organized by ALA’s Google Policy Fellow Jamie Schleser, ranged from telecommunications, E-rate, and copyright to open access to government information, privacy, and surveillance.
After an overview of the work done by the Office for Information Technology Policy and the Office of Government Relations, the conversation turned immediately to a series of questions: What will the future of libraries look like? How are librarian roles evolving? How is the ALA funded? Why are libraries interested in privacy and government information issues?
Good questions, indeed. Many of the questions asked by the fellows centered on the ways that technology has affected library programming and services. In response, ALA staff members detailed steps taken by the association to educate policymakers and the public about key role libraries play in the new, technology-driven information ecosystem.
By the end of lunch, the ALA Washington Office staff learned about some of the exciting work the fellows are doing. The fellows walked away with a better understanding of library policy and lobbying work conducted in Washington.
“Mission accomplished,” said Alan Inouye, director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. “We’ve been a part of the Google Policy Fellowship program from its inception in 2008 and view it as a splendid means for introducing students to the Washington policy scene.”
The Google Policy Fellows participating in the meeting were:
Randy Abreu, National Hispanic Media Coalition
Audrey Ariss, Technology Policy Institute
Sam Hamer, National Consumers League
Matthias Jaime, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Chris Paredes, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Zach Lerner, Center for Democracy & Technology
Jamie Schleser, American Library Association
Clara Tsao, Internet Education Foundation
Sean Vitka, Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation
Representing ALA were Larra Clark, Alan Inouye, Jessica McGilvray, and Jazzy Wright.