#NetNeutrality and Libraries and corporate bs

We’re kind of angry about this over at Urban Librarians Unite. Here’s why –

The FCC is set to vote to eliminate net neutrality this December. Urban Librarians Unite joins the dozens of organizations denouncing this action. Open access to information and the unbiased dissemination of information is critical to democracy and education. The “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposed rulemaking of FCC Chairman Pai focuses on how the Internet flourished for two decades of “light-touch regulatory framework.” It didn’t flourish for Americans. During those two decades we saw the exponential increase in the digital divide that left rural Americans disconnected and we saw Internet Service Providers (ISP) interfering with their customers’ access to certain information.

We are just weeks away from an FCC vote tokill net neutrality. Only Congress can stop it.

If you’re a relatively moderate consumer of news and occasionally take a peek at social media, you may see a lot of threads and posts about #NetNeutrality, or #SavetheInternet — and it’s a big fucking deal.

So here’s the deal with Net Neutrality – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently requires internet service providers to treat all online data equally. As in, they can’t charge more for highly trafficked sites, they can’t slow down service to others, provide preferential treatment to certain sites, or prioritize access to others — if it’s an ISP, they have to provide the same level of connectivity that is being paid for across all of the internet. This ensures that there is a level playing field for everyone on the internet.

(Disclaimer: that last statement is very generally speaking and in reference only to Net Neutrality — lots of other advantages do exist to companies and content creators online, but at the very damn least, access to their site and to another site that has less attention would be equal.)

Led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the Republican majority FCC now wants to roll back this order; they’re set to vote on it by December 14.

K. Not cool.

Want to know what that may look like?
Business Insider already drafted that up for us, with a bit of an in-depth look into how Portugal allows mobile data providers to handle their business. Basically, Meo, Portugal’s wireless carrier, charges for access to different apps on a tier

Portugal customers of MEO’s tariff pay for the proprietary apps, but for varying big name social apps, they have to cough up additional costs per month.

And all these big name apps? Our Net Neutrality ensures that they can’t pay off a provider to monopolize the market. Our Net Neutrality ensures a fair market for others to rise up and compete against these big names. Our Net Neutrality also ensures that people/consumers can access other avenues aside from these apps that tend to dominate the market.

It happened here. Without net neutrality, our access to applications varied with the network we were connected to. In 2012, AT&T blocked Apple’s FaceTime application for users connected to its network. Users were allowed to access the application once they connected to a different network. FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in re: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet at 41.

And that’s just one example of how it reversing this order can turn out.

What if ISPs decide that certain sites don’t align with their political/religious/social views?
Without the Net Neutrality order, they could theoretically block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook, or even your own blog where you spew of these radical ideas of how libraries are important as fuck.
Or your digital portfolio, or your online resume…. Or your LinkedIn because there are certain companies there that they don’t agree with or haven’t paid a fee to them…
And on and on and on and on.

Net Neutrality means no blocking, no paid prioritization, no cherry picking which sites or apps get ‘fast lane’ access.

And for those assholes that say that this is all theoretical? Remind them that they’re eliminating the power of choice and they are basically making it legal for companies to silence your free speech and the free speech of others.

Don’t let this corporation-dominated FCC pull one over you.

Save the fucking internet.


Contact Congress

via Net Neutrality and some FCC BS — Urban Librarians Unite

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Chapter 9, On making a teen space, part 3

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Soft opening today.

No fanfare, just … open. A room, and then room for ironing out the kinks, room for it to be slighly incomplete, but full enough to get the ball rolling.

So how is a teen space made?

Step, by step, by step, by step.

Best practices can tell you what you should start with, the attitude that you should go into this endeavor with, but you won’t know what you need and what you’re missing until you just do. 

Side note that I have to relive over and over: 1 days before soft opening: the big screen UHD TV arrives, with the Apple TV box set to arrive Friday…. and  I realize, I forgot to order the mount. Woops.

How my day went:

Continue reading →

Chapter 9: On Making a Teen Space, Part 1

Starting from scratch is hard, but if done right… well. I won’t know until maybe a year’s time if I really did do it right.

Hopefully among some other reasons (quieting my usual self-deprecating voice here, because Lord, imposter syndrome to the max), I was mainly hired to build up a teen tech studio, which has now been just dubbed The Studio, in the Main Library.

I’m 6 months into my position, and its been one heck of a ride. I wanted to chronicle my efforts into building up The Studio, but between actually building it up and my personal life, I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it much.

Soft opening is in 9 days.

What better time to start than now?

tl;dr – my efforts up until this point have been all over the place, between working across departments, to building up a base of regularly attending teens. 1400+ words, but with pics, so that’s cool right??

Continue reading →

Chapter 7, On being Jack Gantos’ Handler…

Ok look, lets face it: perks of being a librarian are typically getting pre-published books for review, getting new shipments of books, and …. the smell of new books and old books. Once a year, maybe you get to travel for a conference, depending on budget.

Today, was a big perk –

JackGantos

“So I have to ask. … did you really land in that pool!?!” (In The Trouble in Me).
“Yes, I really did!”
….
“I don’t have any books for you to sign… but I do want one thing. … Can we take a selfie?!”
“Of course!”
3 pictures later…
“OK, this one is Facebook worthy.”

Continue reading →

Chapter 5, On being a librarian, part 2

Repost from October 19, when I had to brag on ALATT about it.

Today was an awesome Monday.

unnecessarily long braggy post

10am: readers advisory for a concerned parent who was concerned his third grader has no imagination and had problems with comprehension. He then told me he was reading Moby Dick with him. Piled up in his basket: magic tree house, wayside stories, a Prelutsky anthology, Big Nate, Choose your own adventure and more variety I can’t remember. I firmly told him there was no child that didn’t love to read, just a child that hadn’t found his favorite kind of book yet.
Then encouraged that same parent to join NaNoWriMo to write his book. And, as a fantasy lover, to read The Wheel of Time.
1130am: organized and tidied up some stuff on my to do list. A kid needed help formatting his report on MS word, doing a project about Costa Rica, with his dad observing, NOT doing the work for him, and writing his research in his own words (!).
1230pm: same kid lost all of his work because the user session ended and wiped the saved filed. gathered my gusto, gave the kid a pep talk, and gave him increased time.
330pm: Engaged 13 kids for an entire hour for Book Club, discussing paspassages from The Fourteenth Goldfish. ….ok there were cookies involved, but they were TOTALLY engaged in the discussion, which was awesome. and then they asked to do book club more often.
400pm: The same student doing the report finished his homework, and printed it out. Then he came up me and said, in earnest, “Thank you so much for helping me out until the end. I can tell you really enjoy your job. Thank you so much!!!”
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Chapter 3 – On being a librarian, part 1

Librarians understand that we’re not in the business of information – we’re in the business of people. Our jobs revolve around connecting people the resources, on providing them with service, on safeguarding their privacy (and as follows, their emotions), and just being a trustworthy and reliable figure for them.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said I liked all my patrons just the same.

Especially in the public domain, you get your fair share of patrons that just make you so completely and utterly exasperated that you just want to run into the back staff workroom and scream (silently, of course. Or not, depending on the soundproofing – I work in a older facility, so no obvious cries of frustration).

Then, there are patrons that give you all the validation you need.

Continue reading →

Chapter 1, Page 5

I’m getting a little worked up just trying to write this first sentence.

Throughout the handful of years I’ve been in my career, I’ve witnessed many occurrences that have made me reflect on what a privileged life I have lived thus far, and how lucky I am to continue to do so. During some of these situations, I have had to sit by helplessly and watch authorities handle a situation; luckily, during most of these events, I am able to provide the needed resources and service to others.

Yesterday, my library hosted the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services who performed an Independence Day themed Naturalization Ceremony to 50 new Americans. It was my first time being privy to a naturalization ceremony, and I even got the chance to welcome them to the library and (stutter) across the message of how fitting it is that such a democratic process would take place in this democratic institution.

50 new Americans were sworn in as citizens today.

50 new Americans were sworn in as citizens today.

Its a little nationalist, and I sometimes hate feeling that way because I really don’t think we as Americans have the right to simply declare that we’re the “best country ever kthx God bless us always”, but these 50 individuals chose freely to become citizens and pursue opportunity.

Seize the day, peeps. Seize the mother effin day.