Citizen Media Law Project Laments Loss of Libraries

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The Citizen Media Law Project, a “research center founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development,” points out, in a recent blog post, the contradiction between the FCC upgrading the broadband standard and communities facing library closures.

The prevalence of broadband-capable infrastructure is unimportant, so long as a main method of Internet exposure is dying. Dwindling library access, rather than stagnant Broadband penetration, is a far larger threat to the nation’s Internet access.

The post notes that libraries are the main source of Internet access for poor communities, especially noting how important this access is for job seekers during the recession who may no longer be able to afford Internet access at home to conduct job searches.

Part of the mission of The Citizen Law Media Project is “to build a community of lawyers, academics, and others who are interested in facilitating citizen participation in online media and protecting the legal rights of those engaged in speech on the Internet.” It is no surprise that they are concerned about “the tens of millions of Americans who are gradually losing their only avenue to a wealth of online resources.”

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Libraries Are a Bridge Between the Information-Rich and the Information-Poor

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false] Ian Clark writes on the need for libraries in the digital at gaurdian.co.uk

Libraries are a bridge between the information-rich and the information-poor. They need reinforcing, not dismantling. We need to continue to provide a highly skilled service that is able to meet the needs of the general public. The service ought to continue to innovate to take advantage of the way in which people are interacting with the service in a different way. It needs to continue to bridge the gap between those who have access to the internet and those who do not, while also ensuring it delivers on other aspects of its core service (book loans, local studies materials, etc). If the service is cut, we run the risk of an ill-informed society that is ill-equipped to prosper in the “information age” – a dangerous prospect for any democracy.

I could not agree with Ian more.  Siting the plethora of information freely available online as a reason for the dismantling of libraries does not take into account the other issues related to accessing it: a computer, high-speed internet access, the skills to filter, navigate and evaluate what is found.  Never mind that a great deal of information is not free.

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Teens and the Mobile Web

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Slides from The Pew Internet and American Life Project as a guide for how teens and young adults use mobile phones to participate in social media. They do a great job dispelling the myths and embracing the realities of how teens use the net via mobile device.

Libraries Included in Broadband Grants Across  Nation

from the ALA District Dispatch:

Libraries were well represented in the 66 BTOP and BIP awards that the White House announced today.  Several libraries were named as grantees, and a number of the awards include libraries as key components of the projects.

“It is tremendously satisfying to see libraries receive badly needed support for improving their broadband connectivity,” said Dr. Alan Inouye, director of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).  “ALA and others invested a lot in advocacy and education for the library community in the past year, and we’re pleased that our efforts helped to lead to a beneficial outcome for the library community.”

Bridges to the Future Initiative Aims to Cross the Digital Divide by Improving Literacy and Computer Skills

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]An approach to bridging the digital divide in South Africa with technology

Bridges to the Future Initiative (BFI) addresses the Digital Divide of education and technology in emerging economies by improving literacy, basic education, and technological literacy, thereby assisting the world’s poorest peoples to better determine their own social and economic future. With funding from multilateral agencies and private foundations, BFI has major projects underway in India and South Africa, with projects in other countries under development. The BFI focuses on assisting poor, disadvantaged, and marginalized children, youth and adults in developing countries to take advantage of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) for improving basic literacy and technological literacy skills as a means to participate in the global information and economic marketplace. A selection of videos about the BFI project can be found on our media page.

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