Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 18:04:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Jablonski
Subject: LITWG report: e-rate, filtering, State Library, more...
Dear MLIS students:
Here is a report from a recent meeting of the Library and Information
Technology Working Group (LITWG). I am the iSchool's
this group. LITWG is a sub-committee of the Washington Library Council,
which advises the Washington Library Commission on how to distribute Library
Services and Technologies Act funds, and other statewide library issues.
Each business meeting follows a day-long seminar presenting topics
current interest. This meeting included:
eRate and k20:
Public libraries are eligible to connect to the statewide high-speed network
known as k20 (which connects to internet2 and the NWPacific gigaPOP right
here at UW) at a considerable discount thanks to eRate. Once an application
is accepted, a State Library (see how useful it is?) engineer makes a
site visit to help the library prepare for the connection.
As part of the e-rate application process for this year, libraries need
to confirm that they are either planning to comply, or already in compliance,
with the Children's Internet Protection Act, which requires any library
receiving e-rate or other LSTA funds to have a policy and a technology
in place to filter Internet content.
Several commercial and open source filtering products were discussed.
More information on filtering technologies is at:
Note that this year, libraries only have to state that they are PLANNING
to comply--this has been widely interpreted to mean that the issue is
simply under discussion. It has been reported that certain school/library
districts are planning to refuse to filter.
Washington State Libraries Online:
A new site from the State Library at: http://wlo.statelib.wa.gov/ is designed
to be a portal to information regarding libraries around the state. You
can also search the websites (but the the catalogs) of all libraries in
the system at once.
This system is also designed to host database driven applications for
libraries that might not have the financial or technical resources to
host them independently. (wow, now wouldn't that be missed if there wasn't
a State Library?)
Gates Library Grants:
A round of State Partnership Program grants is getting under way in Washington.
These are non-competitive grants: meaning that if you qualify, and fill
out the form correctly, you'll get whatever aid you qualify for.
A set of possible initiatives was proposed for LSTA funds. The way this
works (as far as I can tell) is that LITWG proposes initiatives, which
the Library Council either endorses or rejects. If endorsed, the State
Library (wow, these folks do a lot.) develops a formal process for libraries
to apply for grant funding based around the initiatives. Indidual and
groups of libraries can also propose initiatives. Initiatives that involve
cooperation between libraries, innovative delivery of services, and have
a statewide impact are strongly preferred.
If you have any ideas for an initiative, go ahead and make a suggestion.
The LITWG meetings are funded (we get a box lunch and travel expenses)
through LSTA. LSTA also funds the statewide database licensing program
(http://www.statelib.wa.gov/sdl/), and greatly discounted technical training
for library personnel. (such a bargain!)
State Library Closing:
On a personal note: certain people at the meeting expressed the opinion
that state legislators are much less likely to pay attention to you if
you protest the State Library closing as a librarian. If you simply self-identify
as a voter (and I know that you are all registered to vote), and talk
about a service that the State Library offers, you are much more likely
to be heard.
It seems clear to me that the State Library delivers services greatly
in excess of the funding it receives from the state. Moreover, there is
a very good argument being made that without the State Library, federal
funding from a variety of programs would not come through because there
would be no state agency to deliver the funds.
And finally, as I am graduating this June, I have been charged with recruiting
a new representative to this committee. If you are interested in this
opportunity (which I must say, has been a pleasure), please contact me.
This is real stuff--you can make a difference. And spend real money.
Office of Educational Partnerships.
University of Washington.