Journalist and librarian Marcus Banks discusses the role, relevancy and impact of librarians in all sectors as we are increasingly overwhelmed with information and yet access to actionable resources is often blocked by fees and paywalls, and the goal of knowledge sharing is subsumed and often ill served by conflicting agendas. Librarians remain critical advocates for open access, teachers of digital literacy skills, proponents of services to all Americans, and touchstones for identifying truth in an increasingly growing sphere of fake news and information that fails to serve democracy, education, and commerce.
In a previous article here on LLRX, Gigi Sohn wrote about how the new Federal Communications Commission majority revoked the approval of nine companies to become Lifeline providers and how that would weaken the Lifeline program and widen the digital divide. Sohn follows up with a discussion of how the E-Rate program, which makes broadband services more affordable for America’s schools and libraries, is in the FCC majority’s crosshairs. And much like the case of Lifeline, Sohn argues the majority is using procedural steps and administrative tools to weaken the E-Rate program.