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.
Lifeline is one of four FCC programs intended to ensure that all Americans have access to modern communications. This article by Gigi Sohn, who served as Counselor to the Chairman in the Office of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler until December 2016, elucidates how the new FCC majority fundamentally dislikes the Lifeline Program and will seek to weaken it by any means possible. She begins her discourse with a primer on the Lifeline program to allow researchers to educate themselves with the facts as the battle over dismantling this program evolves.
This is an introduction to a critical effort to support local public libraries throughout the United States, not in competition with any other efforts, programs or initiatives, but with the goal to fund a robust, long lived and essential endowment in response to ongoing defunding of critical library staffing and resources in our communities, especially poor land rural localities.
Sarah Houghton organized a training for library staff throughout her county from the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and a stellar local senior non-profit named Senior Access dedicated to serving residents with memory loss issues. This training was inspired by two things: in her year in the San Rafael Leadership Institute when her class project was raising funds for Senior Access, and a demographic study from the Association of Bay Area Governments that highlighted Marin County’s median age compared to regional, state, and national norms.
Debbie Rabina, Ph.D., Professor, Pratt Institute, School of Information posted this blog that merits sharing for both its intent, the use of Twitter to attract the attention of the President-Elect, and the crowd sourcing concept. Rabina states: America deserves a president who is well versed in the history of this nation and the documents upon which that history was built. Let’s present those documents to the President-Elect through his favorite medium–Twitter. Tweetathon began at 9am (central) on December 1, 2016. You are welcome to join at any time. Feel free to use whatever government related document (Supreme Court decisions, inaugural addresses, speeches, early American papers, etc.) strikes your fancy. Tag each tweet with the hashtag #GovDocs2Trump and please send them to @realdonaldtrump. This way we can fill his feed.
David Rothman addresses an often overlook paradigm shift – using a smartphone for slow reading. You almost always have your smartphone with you. And with an estimated 190 million smartphone users in the US, Rothman posits that the discipline of reading on a small screen device can be learned, absent distractions (such as email and social media intrusions). Reading is fundamental (RIF), but the way we read has fundamentally shifted. Read on!
David Rothman warns of a new trend exemplified by a Kansas school district. It is replacing licensed elementary school librarians with regular teachers with technical training who oversee makerspaces.
In Part 5 of her 5 part series, Lorette Weldon, Librarian and Educator discusses how high school students are not guaranteed success in college when they have completed college-preparatory courses. In high school English, mathematics and science courses, students have not consistently been taught how “to draw inferences, interpret results, analyze conflicting source documents, support arguments with evidence, solve complex problems that have no obvious answer, draw conclusions, offer explanations, conduct research, and generally think deeply about what they are being taught.”
In Part 4 of a 5 Part series, Librarian and Educator Lorette Weldon focuses on a core issue related to STEM education – high school students are not guaranteed success in college when they have completed college-preparatory courses. Weldon outlines the curriculum requirements that substantiate a progression to higher education.