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ALA’s Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content (EQUACC) Launches Interactive Website on E-content Issues

“We have arrived at a critical juncture in history,” said Jacqueline Rafferty, President, Massachusetts Library Association & Chapter Councilor to ALA.

“The rapid proliferation of electronic content (e-content), combined with library inaccessibility to e-content, is undermining the historic library missions of providing equitable access to information for all people and of preserving the recorded history of humankind for future generations.  For this reason, “A Resolution to Ensure Equitable Access to All Formats of Electronic Content Through Libraries” was adopted by the American Library Association (ALA) Council.  The task force created as a result of this resolution is working to identify solutions that will ensure that the library resource sharing model endures.  Libraries fulfill a unique and essential role in promoting literacy and education, thus fostering an informed and engaged citizenry.  A digital divide places a nation of readers at risk.”

EQUACC recently held a retreat in Washington D.C.

“I’m very impressed with the knowledge and competence of members of this task force, and I hope the library community knows that we are working very hard on this project,” said Cindy Orr, task force member and library consultant Orr.

“The two day retreat in Washington was hearteningly productive,” reported Orr.

“The Task Force members broke into working groups with specific assignments. I am in the environmental scan working group.  The environmental scan will include history, background reading, statistics, formats, and much more, as we attempt to describe where we are now, and how we got here.”

“Please know that we continue to push forward as fast as we can, and join us in New Orleans for a panel discussion of our progress,” said Orr.

Task force members also discussed the importance of fostering dialog between EQUACC, as the representative for ALA on this topic, ALA membership, and the general public.  The task force determined that a website dedicated to informing interested stakeholders would be the most effective means to keep a wide audience up to date about EQUACC activities.

Task force members and members of the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) E-book task force will post on a variety of timely topics.  Viewers are encouraged to post comments that task force members will respond to regularly.  The website also hosts a forum for ongoing conversation and discussion.  Task force members will establish forum topics and moderate discussion.

All are encouraged to participate.  EQUACC needs your input as it develops a set of strategies to respond to the challenges libraries of all types face in the digital environment.

Visit the EQUACC website, stay informed, and be heard!

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Marijke Visser

Marijke Visser is the associate director and senior policy advocate at the American Library Association’s Washington Office. She is involved in all stages of Libraries Ready to Code, E-rate, and Connect Home projects. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Peace and Global Studies/Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College in Indiana. Before joining the ALA in 2009, Marijke earned her master’s in Library and Information Science from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

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