Office for Information Technology Policy
1615 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009-2520
The Office for Information Technology Policy advances ALA’s public policy activities by helping secure information technology policies that support and encourage efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society. It works to ensure a library voice in information policy debates and to promote full and equitable intellectual participation by the public.
Public Libraries: A Lifeline to Technology Resources
The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy released “U.S. Public Libraries and BTOP,” a new report that details U.S. library engagement with the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).
E-rate’s looming Fiscal Cliff
Initiated in 1997 and originally capped at $2.25 billion dollars, libraries receive millions of dollars each year but at the same time there are significant shortfalls in the program. OITP Fellow, Bob Bocher prepared a brief summary (pdf) detailing how we got to where we are and a forecast for the upcoming 2013 funding year which in the E-rate world starts on July1. Read more....
In a video released at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski thanked librarians and library supporters for their role in supporting digital literacy. The ALA and the Institute of Museum and Library Services worked with Chairman Genachowski and FCC staff members to support broadband adoption–with a focus on digital literacy training through our nation’s 16,400 public library locations. Read more....
15 Essential Ebook License Terms
With all of the licensing conditions presented by publishers and vendors, it can be challenging for libraries to determine which ebook business models offer the best terms. To help libraries navigate through the ebook environment, the American Library Association (ALA) released today “The Business Model Scorecard,” (pdf) a report that examines specific variables often seen in library ebook license contracts. Read more....
On the Front Lines of Digital Inclusion
Today, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Digital Literacy Task Force (which is led by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy), released “Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy,” (pdf) a comprehensive report that provides a broad overview of digital literacy in the context of school, public, and academic libraries. Read more....
Call for Nominations: Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship
Librarians interested in intellectual property, public policy and copyright have until March 1, 2013, to apply for the Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship. The annual $1,000 scholarship, which was developed by the American Library Association and the Library Copyright Alliance, supports research and advanced study for librarians in their early-to-mid-careers. Read more....
Pew Report Finds Librarians Want Books and Technology
This week, the Pew Research Center released the Internet & American Life Project report “Library Services in the Digital Age,” a study that examines the role of libraries in communities and the kinds of services people would like to see from libraries. In response to the report, American Library Association President Maureen Sullivan released a statement welcoming the new report. Read more....
Nomination Open Now: L. Ray Patterson Award
The nomination period is open for the L. Ray Patterson Award, an American Library Association-sponsored honor that recognizes particular individuals or groups who “embody the spirit of the U.S. Copyright law as voiced by the framers of our Constitution: ‘to advance the knowledge of science and useful arts.’” Nominations will be accepted through February 15, 2013. Read more....
Right Now: ALA E-book Media Toolkit Available
Across the country, libraries find themselves unable to provide the reading and educational materials demanded by their patrons as several large publishers continue to deny libraries access to their e-books. To assist libraries in informing the public about e-book lending practices, the American Library Association (ALA) released today the “ALA E-book Media & Communications Toolkit,” a set of materials that will support librarians in taking action in their communities. Read more....
Copyright Law Book Available for School Librarians and Educators
Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators written by Carrie Russell, director of the Program on Public Access to Information, is now available through ALA Editions. The book explores complex situations often encountered in classrooms, such as the use of copyrighted material for school assignments, library operations, extracurricular activities and on the Web. Additionally, the book includes original and extraordinary illustrations by cartoonist Jessica Abel that depict “the day in the life” of a typical high school. Read more....
Library Copyright Alliance: Kirtsaeng case threatens library lending
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF) earlier this week with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of petitioner Supap Kirtsaeng in the case Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. The Alliance is comprised of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
Wiley, a publisher of textbooks, claims Kirtsaeng infringed its copyrights by re-selling cheaper foreign editions of Wiley textbooks in the U.S. that his family lawfully purchased abroad. The LCA believes an adverse decision in this case could affect libraries’ right to lend books and other materials manufactured abroad. Read more....
OITP produces and disseminates publications to inform and engage national policy makers, the library community, and other relevant communities. These publications address the range of OITP issues that includes copyright, public and open access to information, library connectivity, telecommunications policy, privacy, and the future of libraries.
OITP’s work focuses on three areas: public access to information, network and connectivity issues, and the role of America's libraries in the 21st century. In addition to these three areas of expertise, OITP maintains a Fellows Program in order to hear from experts in related fields and stay abreast of cutting edge issues facing libraries today.