October 22, 2014

FCC Takes Another Swing at Net Neutrality While Netflix Agrees To Pay for Faster Streaming

FCC logo

In the wake of a January court ruling that struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) standards for ensuring that Internet traffic is delivered without bias—a standard industry watchers refer to as ‘net neutrality’—the agency has issued a new proposal outlining a new set of rules to ensure Internet users have uncensored access to the full content of the Internet. Some experts, though, don’t think these new rules will be any more enforceable than those overturned earlier this year.

A Gift from the U.S. Congress to the People of America | Advocate’s Corner

Jeffrey W. Smith

Who would have thought that the United States Congress—after a year filled with gridlock and subsequent political inertia—would end up giving the American people a gift just before Christmas week? As of last week, comprehensive legislation finalizing the federal budget for fiscal year 2014 received final passage from both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. While generally modest in scope, the mere fact that a piece of fiscal legislation garnered the support of key Democrats and Republicans in Congress represents a significant achievement.

Making FERPA Fit When We Flip | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

A great deal of my professional life is spent trying to make a body of law from the analog age, the 1976 Copyright Act, fit into the digital world. It is a difficult task, but today I want to discuss a different body of law from the same era—the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), aka the Buckley amendment—and how it can fit with the new activities we are engaged in in the online age.

IMLS, NARA, and Library Of Congress Closed During Government Shutdown

After late night wrangling failed to produce a short term spending bill that could pass both the Senate and House of Representatives, the U.S. federal government has shut down for the first time in nearly two decades. As of this morning, federal agencies that support the mission of libraries around the country — from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences to the Library of Congress have found themselves forced to close their doors and furlough the majority of their staffers.

Reed Adds Library Amendment to Immigration Bill

Senator Reed speaks about workforce investment at a Rhode Island library

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) is offering a library amendment to the immigration bill that the Senate is considering this week. The amendment, #1223, would make public libraries eligible for funding for English language instruction and civics education, and would also add Susan Hildreth, the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Task Force on New Americans. The American Library Association (ALA) is asking its members to call their Senators in support of Reed’s amendment.

What Governmental Big Data May Mean For Libraries

Venn diagram of open government, open data, and government data

On May 9, President Obama signed an open data executive order and released an open data policy. Only a couple of weeks later, on May 22, Data.gov responded by launching a new data catalog on an open source data management system called CKAN, which, the site says, will enable the central implementation of the Open Data Policy, as it will harvest the data inventories that federal agencies will be creating under the directive. LJ caught up with members of the library and data-driven research communities to see what this may mean for their missions.

The Downside of Being Universally Liked | Advocate’s Corner

Jason Kramer

Libraries have no natural predators. Believe me. Having worked in partisan politics and lobbied on contentious issues, I know what it means to have opponents. Since I started lobbying for libraries no one has called me names, hung up on me, or slammed a door in my face.

California Open Access Bill Clears Committee

A bill which would require California-funded research to be deposited in open access repositories passed the state’s Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee on May 1.

Sequestration and the New Reality for the Federal Budget Process | Advocate’s Corner

Thus far in 2013, the federal budget picture has been quite grim. Since March 1, the United States government has begun to adapt to the harsh reality of across-the-board budget cuts to particular categories of federal spending. This series of cuts—now commonly referred to as the sequestration—were enacted as part of the Budget Control Act […]

Working the Halls of a Typical State Legislature | Advocate’s Corner

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley at the signing of SB 858

In spite of the gridlock associated with the U.S. Congress, state legislatures across America are presently hard at work. Like many, my home state of Maryland is currently grappling with a series of complex and controversial issues, many of which impact libraries.