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FCC approves spending billions to put Wi-Fi in schools and libraries

“The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a plan to spend $1 billion per year to provide Wi-Fi service in schools and libraries. The plan from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler passed in a 3-2 vote after an eleventh-hour compromise was reached to secure the votes of the commission’s two Democrats. “Because of what we do today, 10 million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn’t. That’s a good day’s work,” Wheeler said at Friday’s open meeting.” (via The Hill)

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Higher Education, Library Groups Release Net Neutrality Principles

“Today, higher education and library organizations representing thousands of colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide released a joint set of Net Neutrality Principles (PDF) they recommend form the basis of an upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to protect the openness of the Internet. The groups believe network neutrality protections are essential to protecting freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth.” (via ARL)

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NY Public Library Pilots Program to Rent Out Free Wifi

“Libraries are known for lending books. Libraries have recently also become known as a place to use computers and the internet. Now though, libraries are combining the two in their latest effort to try to close the so-called “Digital Divide”—made up of those who do and do not have access to the internet. The New York Public Library recently completed a pilot project during which certain patrons were able to check out wireless routers giving them free, unlimited internet access at home.” (via NY1)

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Study in accessible media delivery in Ontario’s university libraries

“The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) is commissioning a research study and report on accessible media delivery at Ontario universities. The study will identify a range of service options available to Ontario’s university libraries to ensure fair and equitable access to video collections held at university libraries across the province. The research project, otherwise known as ROAM, the Report on Accessible Media, will document the diverse practices for delivering video media in accessible formats employed at Ontario universities (via OCUL)

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Rockefeller, Markey Raise Concerns Over FCC’s Proposed Changes to E-Rate Program

“Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), member of the Senate Commerce Committee, this week voiced serious concerns and urged Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler not to move forward with several proposed changes that they fear could jeopardize the E-Rate program. In addition, the Senators called on the FCC Chairman to raise E-Rate’s permanent funding cap.” (via Commerce, Science, and Transportation)

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Public libraries and technology: From “houses of knowledge” to “houses of access”

“One major finding in our research into Americans’ use of public libraries is the extent to which libraries are synonymous not only with knowledge and information, but with the tools needed to acquire it in the digital age. Some 77% of Americans now think it is “very important” for public libraries to provide free access to computers and the internet to the community, and 95% think it is important overall. (For comparison, 80% of Americans say that it is “very important” for libraries to provide books to the community for borrowing.) (via Pew)

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For Those in the Digital Dark, Enlightenment Is Borrowed From the Library

“Joey Cabrera stands for part of most evenings on the doorstep of the Clason’s Point Library, near 172nd Street and Morrison Avenue in the Bronx. There, he taps into the Wi-Fi that seeps out of the library after it closes. He checks in on Tumblr, Snapchat, Facebook — “the usual stuff,” he said — and plays Lost Saga, a video game developed in Korea. “Formerly, I played Minecraft, but this is less mainstream, an inside thing with my friends,” Joey said. Then there is a basic maneuver in skateboarding that he is mastering, the Pop Shove It. He studies the technique at the library doorstep.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Mayor Walsh Launches Innovative Mobile Reading Initiatives across Boston

“Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of the Boston Public Library’s Bibliocycle, and the re-launch of ReadBoston’s Storymobile, now in its nineteenth year. Both programs use a human-powered bicycle with an attached trailer to make their services mobile, and will be pedaling through Boston’s neighborhoods this summer.” (via BPL)

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‘Little Free Libraries’ legal in Leawood thanks to 9-year-old Spencer Collins

“Nine-year-old Spencer Collins will be able put his “Little Free Library” back in his front yard first thing in the morning. The Leawood City Council unanimously approved a temporary moratorium Monday night that exempts the little lending libraries from a city ordinance that prohibits structures in front yards. The moratorium, effective Tuesday, will last until Oct. 20. As soon as the moratorium passed, Mayor Peggy Dunn called Spencer to the front of the room to hand him a book for his library, an action that received applause from the audience.” (via The Kansas City Star)

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The power of librarians

Marcel Fortin is a man in demand. Fortin, the geographic information systems (GIS) and map librarian at Robarts Map and Data Library, is a master at mapping spatial data, the geographic dimension of information. The popularity of this discipline has skyrocketed during the last 10 years, especially with the advent of Google Maps and Google Earth, he says. “Spatial data means thinking about things in relation to geography. People often haven’t done that before,” says Fortin. “It’s applying spatial patterns to stories and research.”

If you want to see where the 10 best hamburger joints in Toronto are, for example, a map gives you a better understanding than a list. Ditto for the epicentres of the world’s 10 most recent earthquakes or the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada.” (via UToronto)

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