Last July, Nancy Kranich, Joanne Griffin and Holly Sorenson presented a program at ALA Annual for the Association of College & Research Libraries Division. Somehow we neglected to post the podcast of their presentation that is now available for those who were unable to attend. Below is the e-mail message from Chad Kahl with the access information.
From: Kahl, Chad
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 10:41 AM
Subject: 2009 LPSS ALA Annual Conference program follow-up message
I would like to thank you again for attending the 2009 Law and Political
Science Section ALA Annual Conference program, “Political Engagement:
Facilitating Greater Participation in Civil Society” featuring Elizabeth
Hollander, Nancy Kranich, Joanne Griffin and Holly Sorensen.
Here’s text from ARL’s August 31, 2009 press release…
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published Public Engagement, SPEC Kit 312, which explores the ways in which traditional “outreach” programs in academic libraries are evolving to address the emergent concept of “public engagement” at the institutional level and the degree to which the library is integrated into campus-level efforts to promote public engagement.
By the March deadline, responses had been submitted by 56 of 123 ARL member libraries for a response rate of 46%. For the purposes of this survey, respondents were asked to report on “public engagement programs” that met the definition of those that demonstrate the library’s “commitment to community partnerships, service to professional communities outside [your] primary user groups … . [and that] go beyond the ‘provision of institutional resources for community use,’ and are aimed at bringing the professional expertise of the library to members of the public.” Of the 56 responding libraries, 49 (88%) reported providing such programs as part of their service profile.
Respondents identified a wide variety of programs that they characterize as “public engagement.” The top four areas of library activity reported were programs in the areas of K-12 education (80%), cultural engagement (75%), government information/e-government (68%), and lifelong learning (66%)…..”
The Report includes three categories of findings and recommendations:
1.Maximizing the Availability of Relevant and Credible Information 2.Enhancing the Information Capacity of Individuals 3.Promoting Public Engagement
According to the Commission, “The questions America faces at this point in its information history, however, gobeyond questions of strategy to questions of values. The Knight Commission hasrecommended a series of strategies that, in various ways, exhort our major publicand nonprofit institutions to give new priority to values of openness, inclusion,and engagement. The values questions posed are equally profound, however, for individual citizens and for the institutions of the media.”
The commission’s recommendation regarding libraries, include:
America’s libraries need sufficient funding to serve as centers for information, training, and civic dialogue. Public libraries are located in nearly all communities in the United States. Most of them are wired for Internet service. Nearly all offer public Internet, and almost three quarters are the only providers of free public computer and Internet access in their communities.