Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reading 1 outline

Since this study guide is vague compared to the other ones, I thought I would post an outline of the first article that I thought covered all of the important things.  

Looked at Public Libraries and the Internet 2004 Survey

·      Policy issues related to public libraries

o      Suffiecienty of connectivity, levels of public access, need for training, continuing gaps in access, sources for funding for technology

o      Method - Used web-based survey approach from director of library

·      Study findings

o      Public libraries provide internet connectivity for almost all US residents

§       99.6% of libs connected to the internet

o      progress due to:

§       federal grants for tech through Library Service & Tech Act (LSTA)

§       e-rate discounts for infracture and connectivity

§       public/private support, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

o      public libs reaching a plateau in terms of the number of public workstations available for use and that these workstations are not enough to meet demand (especially rural – less workstations, slower connections)

·      Key policy issues

o      Bandwith

§       Average bandwith to operate is increasing, libs must inc to keep up

o      Digital divide v. digital inclusion

§       Digital divide – geographic location, race, income, other factors

§       Digital inclusion – focus on how many ppl are currently online

§       Still divide in US

·      Considerable divides b/w rural and other libs

o      Rural areas being left behind in terms of speed of connectivity and the broadband access

·      Access to bandwith vary considerably state-to-state

·      85% of libs reported that there are times of day when there are an inadequate number of workstations available

·      libs serving the populations that have the greatest need for internet access are the least able to meet demand for it

o      expectation of public libraries as a universal access point

§       e-government: public library important link b/w them, the networked environment, and the govt

§       level of technology in some libs reaching a plateau

·      endless upgrade cycle, tech support, maintence costs, space limitations

o      funding internet access

§       connectivity, assess services, etc not a one-time investment

o      filtering, CIPA, E-rate

§       Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires libs that receive e-rate and LSTA funds to filter (if do not filter, don’t get $)

·      Filters only disabled if adult patron asks for it

o      Blocks health information, including sex health

o      Hesitant to ask to remove filters

o      Having to ask can simply limit internet use in general

o      Homeland security

§       USA Patriot Act

·      Battle of protecting patrons and monitoring patrons

·      Act allows for survelliance of expanded records and gag order for librarians

·      So libs not taking as many usage stats, but this is useful information, but the libs want to protect patron privacy

·      Conclusion

o      Public libs moving toward digital exclusion

o      We must define quality public Internet access service provision with the public library context 

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