ALA President to present Living in a post-CIPA World panel at Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 9-14

Contact: Larra Clark or Macey Morales


For Immediate Release

December 2003

ALA President to present "Living in a post-CIPA World" panel at Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 9-14

NBC's Omar Wasow to deliver keynote address

Now that the Supreme Court has rendered a verdict on the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), many librarians and communities are faced with the reality of complying with this decision. American Library Association (ALA) President Carla D. Hayden, Ph.D., and a panel of distinguished speakers from the private and public sectors will discuss the impact this far-reaching Court decision has had on libraries and its implications for equity in the Information Age. The program will take place Sunday, January 11, at 3 p.m. and is part of the ALA's Midwinter Meeting, which meets January 9 to 14 in the San Diego Convention Center.

Omar Wasow, technology analyst for NBC and National Public Radio and executive director of, will provide the keynote address, then join the panel. Wasow has helped build into the largest online destination for African Americans, with growth of over 8,000 members daily. Wasow works to demystify technology issues in his role as Internet Analyst for MSNBC and WNBC, NBC's flagship New York television station. Wasow even tutored Oprah Winfrey in her first exploration of the Net in the 12-part series Oprah Goes Online. Prior to helping launch, Wasow founded New York Online, a company that designed Web sites for clients such as Consumer Reports, Vibe and The New Yorker.

"Equity of access is a core value of the library profession and the ALA, and we must be clear that installing filters that block access to safe and legal information deepens the digital divide between those who have Internet access at home, work or school and those who 'have not,'" Hayden said. "Public libraries are the main access point for millions of Americans who do not otherwise have access to the wide world of information available online, and we must ensure that libraries continue to serve all people equally."

Toni Carbo, Ph.D., will moderate the panelists, who will examine issues relating to compliance, library/industry relations, possible legal challenges, future legislative actions and public policy concerns. Carbo is the former dean and current professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Science. Her current research interests are focused on national and international information policies, especially related to e-government, and information ethics

Also joining the panel are:

  • Dan Lulich, executive director of safety, security and privacy in AOL's Life Management division. He was the chief architect of the company's parental controls and safety and security features;

  • Alan B. Davidson, associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology; and

  • Charlie Parker, executive director of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Library Consortium and chair of the ALA's e-rate taskforce.

The ALA gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of Dynix for this event.

For more information on this program and others in San Diego, please visit