Chris Harris appointed OITP Fellow for youth and technology initiatives

Chris Harris

Chris Harris

Today, we welcome Chris Harris to his latest role for the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Chris will serve as Fellow for the emerging OITP program on Children and Youth Initiatives.

In his other life, Chris is the director of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, an educational services agency supporting the libraries of 22 small, rural districts in western New York. Most recently, Chris integrated his personal interest in gaming with his passion for education and non-traditional learning and is editorial director of Play Play Learn.

Chris brings with him to OITP a long history of out of the box thinking when it comes to libraries–especially school libraries–and innovation in learning and library services. He was a participant in the first American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program in 2007 and honored as a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2008. Chris also writes a regular technology column for School Library Journal talking about “The Next Big Thing.” Chris has been deeply involved with the American Library Association (ALA) Digital Content Working Group, overseeing the E-Content blog and he just finished his term as Chair of the OITP Advisory Committee. In addition to claiming him for OITP, Chris continues to be active with committee work on behalf of school libraries as a member of the Library Advisory Committee for OITP’s Policy Revolution! initiative.

Needless to say, we at OITP are thrilled to have Chris join us as a Fellow. Chris is in on the ground floor as OITP develops its new program and will be integral in shaping it as well as helping to coordinate with ALA’s youth divisions, the American Association for School Librarians, the Association for Library Service to Children, and the Young Adult Library Services Association.

“Since OITP began looking at children and youth issues, Chris has not only brought his own expertise and interest to our discussions, he challenges all of us to view library services for young people in the broadest possible light,” said OITP Advisory Committee Chair, Dan Lee. “Chris has helped make it clear that OITP’s mission clearly intersects with the growing understanding inside and outside the library profession that youth and information technology policy issues need to be, and are front and center in public policy conversations.”

We are not shy about putting our Fellows to work (immediately). As Fellow, among other things, Chris will:

  • Provide policy advice for advocating improved library and public access to information services for children and youth;
  • Draft and/or review text for a variety of documents that include comments to federal agencies, OITP publications, and articles for media outlets, and;
  • Participate in planning meetings with ALA members and other stakeholders.

Personally, I am very happy to have Chris join the force of experts we have on hand as I will be working closely with Chris in the coming months to further define OITP’s work in this area. I already have a very long To Do list labeled, “Check with Chris.”

About Marijke Visser

As associate director of OITP, Marijke leads and coordinates all of ALA’s work on E-rate. In addition to E-rate, Marijke supports the Program on Networks focusing on broadband adoption issues for diverse populations. Marijke also serves as Program Director for OITP’s emerging portfolio on children, youth, and technology.

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