Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The (Second) Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Survey Feedback

Today is the last day to give feedback, in survey form, on the revised draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, available here.

Here is how I filled out the survey. Note what they are asking for feedback on, and what they are not.

1. How satisfied are you with the overall Framework?

I remain concerned about the use of the term "metaliteracy," indistinguishable from "information literacy," as I see it, and the use of threshold concepts generated by a Delphi study (see Lane Wilkinson's excellent post on this), but otherwise I like the flexibility, the way it encourages collaboration with faculty and administration, and its potential to help make information literacy a more integrated part of academic communities. I like the definition of "information literacy."

2. If you have followed the development of the Framework through the previous draft, please tell us what changes you find most helpful.

The addition of an FAQ and supporting documents further flesh out the Framework. I also find the knowledge practices and dispositions useful.

3. Does the “Suggestions on How to Use the Information Literacy Framework” section, in conjunction with the Frames, help you to engage other campus stakeholders in conversation?

I hoped this part of the Framework would detail some strategies for engaging faculty and campus administration in a variety of college and university settings, but maybe that is better suited for a supporting document, which I look forward to reading. The more granular the task force gets with this, in more settings, the better implementations will be.

4. How might the Framework affect the way you work with students?

This depends in large part on how we in the library work with faculty. Will we be able to transition from one-shot library instruction sessions to something more expansive, across the curricula? That will be key. And because of how we're staffed, a lot of information literacy instruction will fall to faculty. Do they want to do that? Do we librarians and library staff want them to?

5. What one thing do you most want the Task Force members to know about the draft Framework?

Please keep being transparent and open-minded, please do listen to critiques of metaliteracy and the threshold concepts, which I believe make up a plurality of the criticism so far.

6. Please share any additional information that would help us in understanding your perspective on the proposed Framework.

My criticism is constructive, comes from a desire to make us all the best librarians, and educators, we can be.

My thoughts on the Framework thus far:

The (Second) Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: My Thoughts
Ethics, Copyright, and Information Literacy, Letters to a Young Librarian
The Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Some Initial Thoughts
The Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Survey Feedback 

Friday, July 11, 2014

The (Second) Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: My Thoughts

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a revised draft of their Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. What follows are my thoughts on this second draft. The full text of ACRL's hard work is available here, and I quote, cite, and excerpt it below.

The introduction has changed between drafts, as has the definition of information literacy.

First draft definition:
Information literacy combines a repertoire of abilities, practices, and dispositions focused on expanding one’s understanding of the information ecosystem, with the proficiencies of finding, using and analyzing information, scholarship, and data to answer questions, develop new ones, and create new knowledge, through ethical participation in communities of learning and scholarship. (bold is theirs, 4) 
New definition: lines 62-67
a repertoire of understandings, practices, and dispositions focused on flexible engagement with the information ecosystem, underpinned by critical self-reflection. The repertoire involves finding, evaluating, interpreting, managing, and using information to answer questions and develop new ones; and creating new knowledge through ethical participation in communities of learning, scholarship, and practice. (2)
Fair enough.

What I like:

I. Flexibility: Rather than a rigid set of standards that all ACRL member institutions should strive to meet, the framework allows for a variety of implementations, depending on the communities served and the resources at hand. Page two of the new draft Framework is particularly strong on this.

The authors of this Framework are not trying to build a monument, but rather a scaffolding. The line about the Framework as "a  set of living documents" is already more than words (page 3). A Frequently Asked Questions section was added earlier this month, which addresses the roles of critical theory and social justice, among others. It's this very flexibility that gives me the confidence to write posts like these, knowing that feedback will be heard.

II. The assault on the one-shot library instruction session.
Over the course of a student’s academic program, “one shot” sessions that address a particular need at a particular time, systematically integrated into the curriculum, can play a significant role in an information literacy program. It is important for practitioners to understand that the Framework is not designed to be implemented in one, sole information literacy session in a student’s academic career; it is intended to be developmentally and systematically integrated into the student’s academic program at a variety of levels. This may take considerable time to implement fully in many institutions. (pages 3-4)
While the one-shot has some value in terms of library instruction, "Hi, I'm Jake, this is our website, here's how to do some stuff, ask me questions, see me smiling, aren't I friendly...," it's inefficient at spreading information literacy (IL) when compared to the systematic integration laid out in the Framework. The more people on campus that know this, that care about it, and that do something about it, the better we'll all be.
Some of the sample assignments in the new Framework get at this, too. Many of them are hard to pull off in a one-shot. Libraries that are under-staffed and over-extended can and should initiate conversations on campuses regarding these assignments, but library staff might not be around to see those assignments carried out. Though learning and course management systems may present librarians with asynchronous opportunities, information literacy should be a community-wide responsibility that can happen with or without librarians. Indeed, librarians themselves may bear some responsibility for exiting information literacy, as Nicole Pagoswky and Erica DeFraini argue.

III. The inclusion of the word "Wikipedia" (page 7). There are faculty and administrators on every campus that don't want to hear or read that word. Well, here it is. Let's talk about it.

IV. The Information has Value frame (12). To me, this is the most interesting part of the revised draft, perhaps in large part because it has the ability to be the most contested.
as intellectual property, information sources are affected by economic, sociological, and political influences. The means of production may privilege some voices over others. Some search systems may privilege some sources over others due to economic incentive.
It's pretty cool to see that in writing, with the imprint of the ACRL. There's also some good stuff on paywalled scholarly communication, the digital divide, and online privacy and surveillance.

What I don't:

I. Staying with Information has value, I wrote a guest post for Jessica Olin's Letters to a Young Librarian on the tension between "ethical participation" as part of information literacy and the quote below from the draft Framework:
Experts understand that this value designates information as intellectual property, and therefore, recognizes three important dimensions of value. First, information can act as a commodity, and as such, creators can use their work for financial, reputational, social, or civic gains. These motivations may determine how information sources are shared whether given freely, offered for sale, or leased for temporary access. Information users have responsibilities as both consumers and creators of information based on the work of others. Academic and legal practices such as proper attribution of sources and complying with copyright are a result. (12)
As a response:
Putting information as a commodity front and center and tying it to various "gains?" Consumers listed before creators? Complying with a copyright regime that every information professional should know is broken, at odds with the common good and encouraging innovation? 
In the Knowledge Practices (Abilities) section of this frame, a threshold concept is to "Understand that intellectual property is a social construct that varies by culture," (12) but the above excerpt reifies much of what is wrong with the North American conception of intellectual property, and may be at odds with "ethical participation" mentioned elsewhere in the document. 
There's more, so please head over there, too. I'll wait. Thanks.

II. The Delphi Study (page 1, footnote 1). Though overall I'm impressed with the transparency of the Framework committee and how open they are to feedback, far too much of the heavy lifting of generating threshold concepts in information literacy comes from an ongoing research project that is a black box. There should be more transparency. People more eloquent than I feel similarly.
The threshold concepts put forth by the committee were decided upon by an anonymous group of librarians in a “Delphi study.” The task force was not privy to the names or affiliations of Delphi study participants, nor were we given any justification, evidence, research, or other reasons to accept the concepts we were given. The role of the task force was to rewrite and expand upon the concepts given by the Delphi study, not to ask for justification.
Trivia: the method used to create these concepts was developed by RAND during the Cold War to assess the effects of technology on warfare (Source).

III. Threshold Concepts (TCs). Over at Sense and Reference, Lane Wilkinson has an excellent critique of threshold concepts that every academic librarian, and maybe every educator, should read. He argues, convincingly, that
  • TCs are based off of probable characteristics within disciplines, but probable is not the same as defining. 
  • The authors of the Framework assume that students will be transformed and troubled by similar concepts in similar ways, but students are a diverse bunch.
  • Knowledge of concepts does not imply ability(s).
  • Disciplines are contested spaces, whereas TCs seek to cannonize.
Given these critiques, we could attempt to improve TCs by saying that they are like a family resemblance, per Wittgenstein. In this formulation a series over overlapping similarities could make up a group of threshold concepts for a discipline, but creating boundaries might prove difficult, as it was for Wittgenstein when he analyzed types of games. Or we could talk about a Latakosian "hard core" for each discipline and base TCs off of this, which is also problematic because of Wilkinson's fourth point above.

What if instead of threshold concepts, we used learning outcomes? For example, "An information literate learner should be able to...." or "A metaliterate learner..."? Learning outcomes are less flexible, and as the authors note in their FAQ, less focused on process, but
  • there may be many roads to information literacy, some of which are under-explored and -theorized at present, and 
  • if librarians, faculty, and other members of our communities can't agree on what a metaliterate or information literate learner looks like, then we need more robust definitions of those concepts.
IV. Atheory and Anti-Theory. So long as we're talking theory, there's a lot of un- and under-cited theory in these frames. Too many assumptions, some of them testable, go unexamined. In Scholarship is Conversation (page 5), there is no discussion of scientific progress, be it Kuhn, Popper, or someone else. This frame is a missed opportunity to discuss the role of blogs, zines, and other non-traditional forms of scholarship that are now easier than ever to create and disseminate, Wikipedia excepted. Moreover, that scholarship is a conversation is a tacit admission that threshold concepts are as well, meaning that they are mutable and malleable.
Similarly, MacLuhan's "the medium is the message" is lacking in the Format as a Process frame on page 9, and the same lack of theory is true of the appendixes.

Rather than turn readers into Straussians, looking for hidden meanings in the Framework and related documents, why not show the theoretical work that goes into it?

V. Metaliteracy is back! All the baggage that term has still applies.
Metaliteracy expands the scope of traditional information skills (determine, access, locate, understand, produce, and use information) to include the collaborative production and sharing of information in participatory digital environments (collaborate, produce, and share). This approach requires an ongoing adaptation to emerging technologies and an understanding of the critical thinking and reflection required to engage in these spaces as producers, collaborators, and distributors. (Mackey and Jacobson, 2014) (pg 18)
Again, if there are differences between metaliteracy and information literacy, under the umbrella of critical thinking, they don't strike me as being major, so I find its inclusion puzzling.
Metaliteracy expands the scope of traditional information skills…to include the collaborative production and sharing of information in participatory digital environments... (slide 17 of this pdf, same original source as the above offset quote)
Yet adding knowledge creation to the definition of information literacy, above, negates any differences between these terms. One is left wondering about the motivations behind this move.

VI. Information literacy is not a discipline. At least, not in the way we tend to think of disciplines as discrete branches of knowledge in higher education. While one cannot major in it, and there's rarely more than one 3-credit semester-long course with "Information literacy" in the title, IL is an area of scholarship that is necessarily inter- and transdiscplinary.

Jan Meyer and Ray Land (2003, pdf) are explicit that threshold concepts take place within disciplines. It seems as if information literacy not a discipline, not bounded in the ways that other fields of study and programs are, thus there can be no information-literacy specific threshold concepts. Here is how the task force gets around this, emphasis mine:
Threshold concepts originated as faculty pedagogical research within disciplines; because information literacy is both a disciplinary and a transdisciplinary learning agenda, using a threshold concepts framework for information literacy program planning, librarian-faculty collaboration, and student co-curricular projects, should offer great potential for curricular transformation. (First draft Framework, page 6, pdf, second draft page 26, pdf)
In addition, committee member Troy Swanson has both anticipated and reacted to some of these arguments, calling information literacy a "conceptual terrain," noting that it, like other disciplines, is not as bounded as one might think (source). Yet terrains still have borders, and while he wants librarians to "own" information literacy, much of this draft Framework is about us giving it up, or at least sharing it. There is a fascinating discussion around IL as a discipline here.

What's next: 

At present, drafting the Framework is a conversation between and among librarians and information professionals, excepting the non-librarians on the task force. As such, we have seen one side of this document. I assume another side, aimed at how to best present this to faculty, will be a supporting document. I hope this part of the Framework will detail some strategies for engaging faculty and campus administration in a variety of college and university settings. For example,
  • How much might a campus-wide information literacy initiative look like "writing across the curriculum,"  (WAC) and would it do for libraries and librarians what WAC did for composition and rhetoric?
  • How might either phasing out, or re-thinking the role of, the one-shot library instruction session change the relationships between the library staff and faculty, and between library staff and administration? 
  • Using threshold concepts, is there a role for librarians to play in fostering transdisciplinary, a term limited to two mentions in the appendixes of June's draft, connections between and among faculty via information literacy?
I'd also like the task force to address the tension between the stamp of authority and expertise that comes with the ACRL imprint and the flexibility of the Framework in terms of local implementations. Is there such a thing as too much leeway here?

Sources used, but not linked to above:
Mackey, T., and T. Jacobson. (2014). Metaliteracy: Redefining Information Literacies to Empower Learners. ALA Editions/Neal-Schuman.

See also, this interesting conversation on twitter.

Elsewhere on this site:
The Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Some Initial Thoughts
The Draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Survey Feedback 

Elsewhere elsewhere:
Ethics, Copyright, and Information Literacy, Letters to a Young Librarian

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More Thoughts on Discovery, Plus a Poster

Last week I presented a poster based on From Here to Discovery at the American Library Association's Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. That poster is below. Zoom in and have a look. Here's a link to the session.

We rolled out discovery during spring break, and it's too early to say what's working and what's not in terms of COUNTER stats and the like, in no small part because traffic to the library website is down, dramatically, from spring of 2013 to 2014. More on that later. Both student and faculty focus groups reacted positively to the website changes, and we're not done yet, that have come with discovery, as well as with the service itself. We've phased out our online public access catalog (OPAC) in favor of EBSCO Discovery Service's (EDS) blended platform, which makes for a prettier looking catalog (third column from the left, above). In addition, some introductory English courses received library instruction sessions featuring EDS, and others did not. We'll track these students over time to see what, if any, effects modes and methods of instruction have on student performance.

The gold standard in articles about discovery services comes from The Chronicle of Higher Education, which provides an excellent overview of the issues surrounding these platforms, including user experience, accuracy, efficiency, licensing, and bias, among others.

Next up, perhaps EBSCO and ProQuest can play nicely. At present, when a member of our community searches for something in EDS that comes from a ProQuest database, there is no mention of that database within the EDS search results. A journal article that we get via ProQuest that comes from Sage, for example, with metadata from Sage, but not from ProQuest. The exact database has been erased from the search. The issue here is not bias, but rather representation, and the branding that comes with it.

Since I wrote and presented From Here to Discovery in January of 2014, EBSCO, the vendor that provides us with discovery, and worked hard to bring us a dedicated open access search tool (see the poster above), has become more open in terms of sharing metadata and adhering to the Open Discovery Initiative's guidelines on fair linking. Though, as Carl Grant points out, more can and should be done. There are hundreds other EBSCO databases not covered by current agreements. We'll keep an eye out, but this is progress.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The ALA Annual Post #alaac14

At the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada I'm presenting a poster on Sunday, June 29th, from 2:30-4pm in the Exhibit Hall. The topic is how discovery searching alters library websites and search boxes, and is based on this giffy blog post.

On Monday, June 30th, from 4-4:45pm, I'm on a panel moderated by Daniel Ransom on the experiences of first-time library directors. Kristi Chadwick, Jessica Olin, and John Pappas are also on the panel, so it will be a good mix of public and academic librarians.

If any of this sounds interesting, or you just want to say hi, add me to your schedule.

Speaking of which, here's where I'll be. And yes, I'm overbooked for many of these. I'll wake up and see where the day takes me. If I missed something you think I might be interested in, please let me know.

Useful Sites

Main conference website


Vegas on a Budget

American Library Association Party Map

Unofficial Guide to Socializing via I Need A Library Job

Eater Las Vegas is your friend

Survival Tips and Vegas Eats from Library Journal

American Libraries Cognotes (pdf)

Arts Guide to Las Vegas from the Association of College and Research Libraries Arts Section (pdf)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Diversity Takes Work: On "Rigor" in MLIS Programs

Librarianship, as a profession, is not a very diverse place. As of 2010, there were 118,666 credentialed librarians, those with Masters degrees from American Library Association-accredited programs.

Of those:

6,160 were African-American,
3,260 were Asian-Pacific Islander,
185 were Native American,
1,008 identified as two or more races, and
3,661 as Latin@.*

The above data is from the ALA's Office of Diversity (pdf), and if you like pie charts, Chris Bourg at Stanford has you covered.

There is no reason to think that four years later, things look any better.

The pipeline isn't broken, it was never built. It was intentionally not built.

Ta-Nehisi Coates shows all the "work" that went into, and still goes into, oppression. It takes work to undo that.

And instead of doing that work, we get this (diversity and rigor are at odds). And this (derailed by Common Core, but good comments on both). Instead, what we should get is this (paywalled).

Let's leave "rigor" undefined for now. After all, it's a means to an end, and that end is employment. And rigor, however defined, is neither sufficient nor necessary for that, because of the political and economic contexts in which libraries and library staff are situated. Rigor, however defined, might lead to librarians and information professionals who are better able to navigate this environment, but it won't get anyone a job by itself.

Aside from the "soft bigotry of low expectations" that comes with the false dichotomy between rigor and diversity, we're also treated to Masters of Library and Information Science programs as places for remediation, even though there's evidence that remediation doesn't work.
The default strategy at U.T. for dealing with failing students was to funnel them into remedial programs — precalculus instead of calculus; chemistry for English majors instead of chemistry for science majors. “This, to me, was just the worst thing you could possibly imagine doing,” Laude said. “It was saying, ‘Hey, you don’t even belong.’ And when you looked at the data to see what happened to the kids who were put into precalculus or into nonmajors chemistry, they never stayed in the college. And no wonder. They were outsiders from the beginning.” 
That New York Times article quoted above, "Who Gets to Graduate," shows what does work. Let's do it, library schools.
Students in TIP [Texas Interdisciplinary Plan] were placed in their own, smaller section of Chemistry 301, taught by [then-Chemistry professor David] Laude. But rather than dumb down the curriculum for them, Laude insisted that they master exactly the same challenging material as the students in his larger section.

... [Laude] supplemented his lectures with a variety of strategies: He offered TIP students two hours each week of extra instruction; he assigned them advisers who kept in close contact with them and intervened if the students ran into trouble or fell behind; he found upperclassmen to work with the TIP students one on one, as peer mentors. And he did everything he could, both in his lectures and outside the classroom, to convey to the TIP students a new sense of identity: They weren't subpar students who needed help; they were part of a community of high-achieving scholars.
Library and Information Science programs can continue to admit as they see fit, but what the University of Texas at Austin is doing is also a form of rigor. There's no reason why LIS programs can't do something like this, except that it takes work, and LIS programs seem unwilling to put that work in. It's much easier to play rigor and diversity off each other.

At present, it's not as if library science programs are rejecting people en masse; a wide net has already been cast.  Schools and programs could easily cast a wider net, or continue to do so, but instead of admitting so many cis white females from History and English undergraduate programs, maybe look a bit harder. Hiring managers could and should do the same.

The Loon writes that rigor in admissions would "slam the door to librarianship in the faces of some of those who wish to open it." But look at the above data. That door is already shut. It was never open. Because of the lack of diversity in LIS professions, it probably better to discuss rigor within programs, as Becky Katz writes, which the Loon divides into technological ("librarians should know how to code!") and humanistic ("Foucault! Interrogate! Problematize!"), rather than in admissions. And UT-Austin's program gets at that kind of rigor.

Do MLIS programs want to put that kind of work in? Are there monetary or other structural factors that prevent them from doing so? We'll see.

* And yes, librarians and library staff overwhelmingly identify as female, over 80 percent of the profession. Speaking of race and gender, the twitter streams for "rigor" and either "MLIS" or "LIS" are hardly representative, but they are also not a parade of white men, (/waves to self), calling for rigor, as the Loon paints it.

Elsewhere on this site:

Dear Aspiring Librarians (On MLIS Program Placement and Salaries)
The "Digital Natives" Myth and Library Science Education
Choose Wisely
The Adjunctification of Academic Librarianship
On Diversity in Library and Information Science Education
Guilty as Charged, Yet Another MLIS Post 
Making Masters of Library and Information Science Programs More Rigorous 
Not Another MLIS Post 
Explore the MLIS tag.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The New York Times' Digital Strategy and "The Future of Libraries."

Last week the higher-ups at The New York Times did a bang-up job of reminding everyone that institutional sexism is real and pervasive. In addition, someone on The Times' payroll leaked a digital strategy document, titled Innovation Report 2014, to Buzzfeed that librarians would be wise to read.

To wit, The Times has a metadata problem: they lack both a controlled vocabulary and informal systems to tag stories behind the scenes, making it hard for reporters, writers, and digital content staff to make and promote connections.
“Without better tagging, we are hamstrung in our ability to allow readers to follow developing stories, discover nearby restaurants that we have reviewed or even have our photos show up on search engines.” (Page 41 of the report)
It took the Times seven years to come up with a “September 11th” tag, there's still no “Benghazi” tag (41).
“Just adding structured data, for example, immediately increased traffic to our recipes from search engines by 52 percent.” (44)
That's the price of bad, or non-existent, metadata.

There's more. The full Times report is hosted by the Neiman Journalism Lab, which also has excerpts. All images below come from that page.

Does this sound familiar, librarians? Do you think library websites are "gateways?" What is the role of content and discoverability?

The stuff that we, libraries and archives, have is valuable. But do we recognize opportunities when we see them? Gawker did. Phelps did. In reporting on the firing of executive editor Jill Abramson, The New Yorker did, scooping the Times on events that happened in the Times' own building.

Do we let the perfect be the enemy of the good? How afraid of mistakes, of failure, are we, even when we're surrounded by it?

Altmetrics: it's not just for scholarly communication.

Listen to your communities. Be responsive.

Your silos? They stink. They're often a product of organizational culture. They have implications for staff, and for communities.

The Times' Twitter account is run by its newsroom, while the business side of the Times handles its Facebook page, making for a confusing, incoherent public face for the paper.

“Because that's how we've always done it!”

Be curious. Seek continual improvement. Talk to people elsewhere, and steal their ideas. It's flattery. This is what conferences are for.

Again, it is okay to fail. I fail all the time, often in spectacular fashion. Failure is normal. Failure is natural. Try to create a culture where it is okay to take chances and okay to fail. And if something is failing, recognize it.


Exit, Voice, and Loyalty.

The full report is worth a read.

Elsewhere on this site:
Glass Houses, Pots, Kettles
The End of "The End of Libraries"

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Libraries, Beer, and Lobbying in Washington, DC

On Monday, May 5th and Tuesday, May 6th hundreds of librarians will descend on Capitol Hill to lobby Congress for funding. National Library Legislative Day is in its fortieth year, and one need not be in Washington, DC to participate.

But what if it were thousands? Tens of thousands?

Every year craft brewers arrive in DC to throw a party called SAVOR. The event takes place in DC in no small part because the brewers can have a legislative day, reminding Congress that breweries are small businesses that employ Americans and use agricultural inputs. The one year that SAVOR skipped DC, the Craft Brewers Conference was here instead, affording yet another legislative day.

I understand that politics, lobbying, and asking for money strikes some as distasteful, but if you are in a position of leadership in a library, or even if you're not, this is something you should be doing. The money you're asking for supports your communities and if you want to speak the neoliberal language of return on investment (ROI), libraries have you covered there, too.
  • Every dollar spent on an academic library returns about four dollars.
  • Every dollar spent on a public library returns between three to six dollars (page 3-4 of this pdf for both those numbers, though other dollar amounts are available elsewhere. Sorry, I don't know if there's research on special, law, governmental, and other libraries).
Lobbying and asking for things doesn't always work, but sometimes it does. For example, the Food and Drug Administration wanted to test the spent grain of breweries for various pathogens, and it wanted either breweries or the farmers who use that spent grain to feed livestock to foot the bill. Costs would no doubt be passed on to consumers, too. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY, and more importantly Amy Schumer's uncle) and Mark Udall (D-CO), among others, intervened, citing the economic impact to craft breweries that donate spent grain to farms. Two bills, the Small BREW Act and the BEER Act, probably won't pass, but to quote Lifehacker, "you don't get shit you don't ask for." Asking is important, as are building relationships within our admittedly broken political process.

And that brings us to the American Library Association. The ALA Annual Meeting, or at least the Mid-Winter one, should be regularly held in Washington, DC for the same reason that craft brewers come to town. We need more advocacy, we need it more regularly, and we need to build relationships over the long term. The Congresspersons in the House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms. What if at least once a term thousands of librarians from all over the country met with them?*

What's at stake?
  • Net Neutrality
  • Funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (these two via Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-WI, proposed budget)
  • Open access for taxpayer-research
  • Online privacy
  • A whole host of education-related issues
  • And much much more.

Speaking of SAVOR, here is DCBeer.com's coverage of the event, which takes place on May 9th and 10th. Craft brewers will be on the Hill on the 8th and 9th. The National Beer Wholesalers Association held their annual meeting, again, always in DC, last night. There was beer and ice cream.

SAVOR Behind the Scenes: How the Brewery Selection Process Works
I also wrote a few profiles of some breweries:
Crux Fermentation Project
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Societe Brewing

Anyway, more lobbying and advocacy in DC, and in state capitals, which means state library association meetings in capital cities, too, please.

* And yes, as a DC resident, it is selfish of me to ask for this. I'd also add that DC has no "stand your ground" law, same-sex marriage, some of the more robust transgender protection laws in the country, a human rights commission, and many minority-owned businesses, among others.