Multiple utility cable spools sit on a snow covered hill with forest covered hills behind them

New Infrastructure Bill Seeks to Bridge Digital Divide

In November of 2021, President Biden signed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill into law. A significant portion of the bill is allocated for upgrading access to broadband speed internet nationwide. This unprecedented amount of funding is set to be the largest investment into telecommunications by the public in the history of the country: what does it mean and what will it do?

The words “The Library and Sex Ed” appear on a light blue backgound with round abstract shape decorating the corners of the image.

How Your Library Can Support Comprehensive Sex Education (and Fight Censorship)

There is a long history in the U.S. of controlling, suppressing, and censoring information about sex, even if the information is meant to educate, not arouse. The Comstock Act of 1873 made it a criminal offense to, “send ‘obscene, lewd or lascivious,’ ‘immoral,’ or ‘indecent’ publications through the mail. Attempts to restricted sex education materials, under the guise of protecting children form obscene and inappropriate materials, are continuing to happen today in the form of challenges in K-12 schools and public libraries. A recent example comes from Gillette, Wyoming where Hugh and Susan Bennett filed a complaint with the county sheriff’s office over the inclusion of five books in the local library’s collection. In this post are some ways that you and your library can support quality sex education for young people in your community.

Portrait of Rhonda Evans, 2021-22 Chair of IFRT

Get Active: New IFRT Chair Rhonda Evans Shares Her Plans, Priorities, and Passion

Rhonda Evans rose from ALA Emerging Leader to Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in just one year – and shows no signs of slowing down. She brings expertise, energy, and encouragement to her new IFRT leadership role, and invites all library workers to get involved in intellectual freedom issues. Keep reading to learn about Evans’s journey, perspectives on intellectual freedom, and priorities as IFRT Chair for 2021-22.

Link in a chain breaking

When Information Disappears

Discussion of the future of libraries so often focuses on subscription access and inviting study spaces or makerspaces, but the problem of digital preservation looms in the background. Who should preserve digital content? Which digital content should be preserved? By whom? What happens if this information is not preserved?

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Institute of Museum and Library Services Logo

ARPA Pulls Through for Library Funding and Broadband Assistance

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) featured stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and funds COVID-19 vaccines. It also provides $200 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In addition to supporting the IMLS, ARPA also included additional provisions for broadband assistance, such as funds to be appropriated towards schools and libraries to support remote learning.

The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbot

Requests for Reconsideration at the Public Library Part Four: Sensitive Topics and Abuse

Child sex abuse is a serious problem but how do we talk to kids about it? How do we give children the tools and language to understand how to reach out if they are victims or if they know someone who is? There is no easy answer. One way that author Tony Abbot chose was the route of storytelling. Sharing stories can provide both a mirror and a window.