Washington Hotline

Jazzy Wright


ALA president speaks on NSA leak; organization launches privacy toolkit

In July, ALA launched “ALA Liberty,” a new Web site that contains tools libraries can use to host educational sessions and public forums that help Americans understand their First and Fourth Amendment rights. The launch of ALA Liberty comes as a response to revelations that the U.S. government obtained vast amounts of big data on the activities of millions of innocent Americans. The Web site contains guides and tip sheets for libraries interested in informing members of the public about their civil liberties. The tools provide an overview of the deliberative process and outlines ways that the public can demand government oversight and transparency from legislators.

Later that month, ALA joined an unprecedented coalition of Internet companies and advocates to deliver a letter to the U.S. government demanding greater transparency around national security-related surveillance of Internet and telephone communications. Key civil liberties organizations and major companies, such as Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, joined in the effort with dozens of other companies and organizations, both large and small. We Need To Know, the newly launched petition directed at the White House, invites the public to contribute to the call for greater transparency around government surveillance.

ALA, IMLS detail Affordable Care Act resources for library staff

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and ALA recently announced information resources for libraries to use to assist patrons about the Affordable Care Act. OCLC’s library program WebJunction will provide online educational Webinars, tip sheets, and other resources to help library staff members respond to increased patron information needs related to the new health insurance marketplace. Library staff can access materials, online resources, Webinar registrations, and archived Webinar recordings at www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/ehealth/get-involved.html.

Google, ALA host Webinar: Revisiting CIPA ten years later

ALA and Google recently hosted a national symposium where library, education, technology, legal, and policy experts considered the impact of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) on access to electronic information. In July, participants joined a wide range of experts to discuss insights looking at legal, ethical, and political implications of how the CIPA requirements have been implemented in the past ten years. “Revisiting the Children’s Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later” was part of the Office for Information Technology Policy and Office for Intellectual Freedom’s larger project on CIPA and access to information, made possible through support of Google, Inc. A white paper will be released this fall.

Copyright 2013© American Library Association

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