Free webinar: Helping patrons understand Ebola

Photo by Phil Moyer

Photo by Phil Moyer

Reminder: On Tuesday, October 14, 2014, library leaders from the U.S. National Library of Medicine will host the free webinar “Fighting Ebola and Infectious Diseases with Information: Resources and Search Skills can Arm Librarians.” The webinar will teach participants how to find and share reliable health information.

Recent outbreaks across the globe and in the U.S. have increased public awareness of the potential public health impacts of infectious diseases. As a result, many librarians are assisting their patrons in finding credible information sources on topics such as Ebola, Chikungunya and pandemic influenza.

Speakers include:

Siobhan Champ-Blackwell
Siobhan Champ-Blackwell is a librarian with the U.S. National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center. She selects material to be added to the NLM disaster medicine grey literature data base and is responsible for the Center’s social media efforts. She has over 10 years of experience in providing training on NLM products and resources.

Elizabeth Norton
Elizabeth Norton is a librarian with the U.S. National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center where she has been working to improve online access to disaster health information for the disaster medicine and public health workforce. She has presented on this topic at national and international association meetings and has provided training on disaster health information resources to first responders, educators, and librarians working with the disaster response and public health preparedness communities.

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern
Register for the free event

If you cannot attend this live session, a recorded archive will be available to view at your convenience. To view past webinars also done in collaboration with iPAC, please visit Lib2Gov.org.

Posted in Events, Government Information, OGR, Public Libraries Tagged with: , ,

Libraries are early learning partners

Photo by Lester Public Library

Photo by Lester Public Library via Flickr

The American Library Association (ALA) urged the Department of Education in a letter (pdf) Wednesday to include public libraries as early learning partners in the Proposed Requirements for School Improvement Grants (SIG). The Association specifically asks that the Department of Education include public libraries as eligible entities and allowable partners under the new intervention model that focuses on improving early learning educational outcomes.

“The country’s 16,400 public libraries are prepared to support early childhood education, but we can only do so if policies allow for better collaboration, coordination, and real partnerships between libraries and the various federal early learning programs, including SIG grants,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, in a statement.

“Public libraries in communities across the country work tirelessly to support children and families by helping children develop early literacy and early learning skills,” said Andrew Medlar, vice president and president-elect of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). “Our libraries are a foundation of our communities and are ready and willing to help children succeed.”

By offering reading materials, story times and summer reading programs, public libraries across the nation are supporting and complementing early learning efforts. According to a 2010 national survey of public libraries conducted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), public libraries offered 3.75 million programs to the public in 2010. The survey found that 2.31 million of those programs are designed for children aged 11 and younger. Another report found that the circulation of children’s materials in libraries has increased by 28.3 percent in the last ten years and comprises over one-third of all materials circulated in public libraries.

The ALA Washington Office and ALSC collaborated on the letter sent to the Department of Education.

Posted in OGR, Public Libraries Tagged with: , , ,

Watch and learn: Making the election connection for libraries

On Monday, October 6, 2014, the American Library Association (ALA) and Advocacy Guru Stephanie Vance collaborated to host “Making the Election Connection,” an interactive webinar that explored the ways that library advocates can legally engage during an election season, as well as what types of activities have the most impact. Library supporters who missed Tuesday’s advocacy webinar now have access to the archived video.

Making the Election Connection from ALA Washington on Vimeo.

Posted in Library Advocacy, OGR, Webinars Tagged with:

ALA voice to join FCC Open Internet roundtable

FCC ImageJohn Windhausen, network neutrality counsel to the American Library Association (ALA) and president of Telepoly Consulting, will represent libraries and higher education institutions Tuesday as a panelist for an Open Internet roundtable discussion hosted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Windhausen will advocate for strong net neutrality principles during the panel “Construction of Legally Sustainable Rules” of the roundtable “Internet Openness and the Law,” which takes place at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. During the panel discussion, Windhausen will explore ways that the FCC can use its Section 706 authority with an “Internet-reasonable” standard that would recognize and support the Internet ecosystem and the Internet as an open platform for free speech, learning, research and innovation.

ALA, along with other higher education and library organizations, affirmed the critical importance of network neutrality to fulfilling our public interest missions and outlined the case for an Internet-reasonable standard in its filings (pdf) in the Open Internet proceeding. The ALA also urged the FCC to use available legal authority to adopt strong, enforceable net neutrality rules in a joint letter (pdf) with the Center for Democracy and Technology.

The roundtable is free, open to the public and will be streamed live. [Update: View video below]

Posted in Network Neutrality, OITP, Telecommunications Tagged with: , ,

Librarians won’t stay quiet about surveillance

Patriot Act protest.

Photo by KPBS

The Washington Post highlighted the library community’s efforts to protect the public from government intrusion or censorship in “Librarians won’t stay quiet about government surveillance,” a feature article published today. It has been a longstanding belief in the library community that the possibility of surveillance—whether directly or through access to records of speech, research and exploration—undermines a democratic society.

Washington Post writer Andrea Peterson states:

In September 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft called out the librarians. The American Library Association and civil liberties groups, he said, were pushing “baseless hysteria” about the controversial Patriot Act. He suggested that they were worried that spy agencies wanted to know “how far you have gotten on the latest Tom Clancy novel.”

In the case of government surveillance, they are not shushing. They’ve been among the loudest voices urging freedom of information and privacy protections.

Edward Snowden’s campaign against the National Security Agency’s data collection program has energized this group once again. And a new call to action from the ALA’s president means their voices could be louder and more coordinated than ever.

Read more

Posted in Privacy & Surveillance Tagged with: ,

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