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 General Index is a powerful tool that opens up the scholarly record to analysis and criticism. To find and address inequity in the scholarly record, we should empower students to feel comfortable using data – to make the most of tools like the General Index, and to collect data that fills in the gaps.
As many prisons forgo physical materials altogether and embrace e-reader and tablet programs, it is unclear what effect these changes will have on an incarcerated person’s right to read. Can you ban an e-book? What does censorship look like in digital form?
In December 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act which distributed $7 billion to increase broadband access in the United States. $3.2 billion was apportioned to create the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Additionally, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) detailed provisions of an Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) which included over $7.1 billion to support remote learning in schools and libraries. The ECF program focuses on schools and libraries, helping fund costs of laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and other connectivity equipment. These funds are available to a wide range of libraries, including public, school, tribal, academic, research, and private libraries, in addition to library consortiums.
Historically, redlining refers to the practice of banks using maps to withhold loans for certain areas, usually poor communities of people of color. Now redlining takes digital form as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) get to choose where to build their networks and what types of plans are available. In today’s society, a reliable internet connection is a necessity, often required for job applications, scheduling travel, connecting with others, online education, and more recently working remotely from home. Those without an affordable high speed internet plan are at a distinct disadvantage, and communities with limited ISP options will again face obstacles for growth. Poor communities, often people of color, are being denied options for reliable internet plans when compared to white communities in the same area.
The inaugural Social Media Safety Index report from GLAAD, when combined with recent anti-LGBTQ+ education legislation, reveals that LGBTQ+ mis/disinformation has created public health and safety issues based on an unsound free speech argument.
In response to the exclusion of library broadband funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act (COVID-19 relief package passed in december), ALA has passed a “Resolution in Support of Broadband as a Human Right.” Now Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan Act which includes the Emergency Education Connectivity Fund. #LibrariesStrong
There is a massive amount of news, all day, everyday. You may have missed this, but I assure you it is important. In any other year, this would be the top news story for the day: The Justice Department brought an Antitrust Lawsuit against Google. Read more for a brief discussion on Antitrust Lawsuits from the 1890s to now!
Hulu is a streaming platform where you can choose the content you want to watch. And with a recent upgrade, it’s now a platform that chooses the content you really shouldn’t watch.
Twitter’s format of quick-bite information does more harm than good to one’s information literacy development. But the company’s recent partnership with UNESCO to promulgate this modern-day imperative is a step in the right direction.