Hi all. Well, I have accumulated a number of items and so figured it was time for a little update. I would like to begin with YALSA’s Teen Tech Week, which just concluded. We had a big push on coding-related activities and a highlight was a segment on the news in Detroit on WXYZ-TV (the ABC affiliate). It is great; check it out — only 90 seconds.
Next, I will be out in a couple of venues to talk about information policy. I will be at the ACRL conference in Baltimore on March 23-24 and identified two specific times to meet up with folks to provide an update from the Washington swamp and answer questions: Thursday 3 to 4 p.m. and Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If interested, please email me at email@example.com for details.
I also will be a presenter at the upcoming Coalition for Networked Information Task Force meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 3-4. In the session, “Direct from the Swamp: Developments of the 45th President and 115th Congress,” I will be presenting with Krista Cox of the Association of Research Libraries. If you will be there and want to talk, please contact me and we can set up a time, or just see each other on-site.
As I reported elsewhere, I accompanied ALA leadership to New York City to meet with publishing and library organizations. In addition, I had other meetings and I would like to highlight one of them. I am on the advisory board of the non-profit Library For All (LFA). By a happy coincidence of scheduling, I was able to attend a reception at the Australian Consulate-General to honor LFA, which was co-founded by Australian citizen Rebecca MacDonald.
LFA has built a digital library to deliver quality educational materials in developing countries. LFA’s mission is to make knowledge accessible to all, equally. Initially focused on obtaining published works to make them available to youth in developing countries (e.g., Haiti, Rwanda, Cambodia), new directions include creating original works such as building a Girls’ Collection that will inspire, empower and educate girls across the world.
“The Girls’ Collection will contain books with strong female characters and stories that show female readers that they are powerful and equal members of society. Through the Collection, girls accessing the digital library will be able to see their identities reflected in the characters of the stories they read, an essential reminder of how important their lives are and a powerful message for them to continue their education, pursue careers, and stand up for their rights as contributing members of the global economy.”
Finally, I would like to mention some noteworthy meetings on the Hill. Larra Clark and I, with Kevin Maher and Adam Eisgrau of the Office of Government Relations and counsel Norm Lent at Arent Fox, had a dozen meetings with staffers (for both the majority and minority) on the Congressional Committees on Small Business and Veterans Affairs or whose Members are on one of these committees. We made good use of our policy advocacy videos and the briefs on small business and veterans. There was considerable interest and goodwill and multiple opportunities for next steps. We are now contemplating our follow-ups for the coming months.