The ALA Nominations Committee is looking for a few good members to run for Council in the next ALA election. Personally, I would like to see more YALSA members forward their names for consideration. YALSA is growing and we need greater representation at the Association-wide level…without it our message and our values won’t be heard. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested – allen@wadsworthlibrary.com

C. Allen Nichols
YALSA Board Member
ALA Nominations Committee

So, it’s Friday afternoon and I am watching the NBC news and there is a snippet of a report about how summer reading is ruining the summers of teens across the country. I will admit that some of what I saw was horrific (tons of required reading plus worksheets). However, someone needs to let the reporters know that is not what summer reading is. How about a story on a terrific summer reading program that a YALSA member is running that gets kids out of the house and into the library?

I hope everyone is as psyched as I am to see that YALSA in conjunction with ALSC and Booklist is going to honor audiobooks for children and teens. The Odyssey Award will be for distinction in audio for children and young adults. Kudos to the forward thinking people who have spearheaded this award.

According to the ALA Washington Office, DOPA is being fast-tracked in the Senate. An article in the NYT today said it may come up for a vote as early as next week. YALSA is putting together some resources and preparing for an advocacy campaign, and we’ll need members’ help. So, please stay tuned. When we know more next week, we will need to act quickly.
The NYT article is called “Chat Rooms Could Face Expulsion,” by Declan McCullagh. Judy Nelson, YALSA’s President, will be sending a response to this article. Next week YALSA will have sample letters to the editor that we’ll be asking members to send to their local newspapers. We will also have a Legislative Advocacy Guide that will make contacting your Senator easy, as well as a Social Networking Site Toolkit so you can help educate your coworkers and library users about the pros and cons of social networking sites, what DOPA may mean for them and how to stay safe on the Internet.

Posted by Beth Yoke

This summer I’ve been teaching a class and almost every week we’ve had some sort of discussion or update on DOPA. Today, the first thing we talked about was the House’s passage of the Bill yesterday.

At one point in the conversation one student lamented the fact that she hadn’t heard anything about DOPA anywhere except in and through the class.

That was actually something I’d been thinking about before class started this morning. I listened to the news on the radio before class, I listened to a couple of technology podcasts, I looked at The New York Times on the web. None of them focused in any way on DOPA and yesterday’s vote. This pointed out to me how much work we need to do. Yes, we need to call, email, or fax our Senators. But, we also need to help people in the communities in which we work understand the real implications of DOPA for teens and for libraries and schools.

Going out and “preaching the word” can be difficult. However, this is an instance when we need to get the word out. People like a quick and easy fix but there is nothing in this fix that supports teen developmental needs and teen ability to learn how to use technology smartly and safely. So, I hope, that along with letting your Senators know what you think you’ll also let your community members – including teens – know what you think and why.

You may have noticed that YALSA’s blog has a new look. This is part of an effort to help make sure that our blog is easy for readers to use. The current changes include automatic posting of a blog author’s name and dual-side navigation which should make scrolling a bit less necessary. You can also click on a poster’s name to see what other blogs she or he has written. The YALSA text in the top left will take you back to the main page of the blog with one click.

We are working on a few more changes and we’ll let you know when they happen so you’ll know what new features are available.

Enjoy!

And don’t forget, if DOPA actually passes that means access to blogs like this one could be limited or denied in schools and libraries.

Today the US House of Representatives passed the amended Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) bill by a vote of 410-15. The proposed legislation will now go to the Senate. The Senate may or may not have time to vote on this before their session ends for the year. In the meantime, you can help out in two ways:

1. If your Representative was one of the ones listed below, please email them a quick thank you for opposing DOPA. Representatives who voted against DOPA: Conyers (Detroit, MI), Grijalva (Tuscon, AZ), Hinchey (Saugerties, NY), Honda (San Jose, CA), Kucinich (Cleveland, OH), Lee (Oakland, CA), Zoe Lofgren (San Jose, CA), McDermott (Seattle, WA), Payne (Newark, NJ), Schakowsky (Evanston, IL), Scott (Newport News, VA), Serrano (Bronx, NY), Stark (Fremont, CA), Watson (Los Angeles, CA), Woolsey (Petaluma, CA). Go to www.house.gov for contact info.

2. Start educating your Senators about the importance of social networking sites, which are the types of sites that will be blocked if DOPA passes. Go to www.senate.gov for contact info. Send them (and have parents & teens send) faxes and emails of personal stories about how you or your library patrons use these kinds of sites in productive, educational ways. Let them know what negative impact DOPA will have on libraries and library users if it passes. ALA has five key points that you can reference:
1. The terminology used in DOPA is still overly broad and unclear. As
written, this legislation would block access to many valuable websites

that utilize this type of communication, websites whose benefits
outweigh their detriments.

2. DOPA still ignores the value of Interactive Web applications. New
Internet-based applications for collaboration, business and learning are
becoming increasingly important, and young people must be prepared to
thrive in a work atmosphere where meetings take place online, where
online networks are essential communication tools.

3. Education, not laws blocking access, is the key to safe use of the
Internet. Libraries and schools are where kids learn essential
information literacy skills that go far beyond computer instruction and
web searching. Indeed, DOPA would block usuage of these sites in the
very environments where librarians and teachers can instruct students
about how to use all kinds of applications safely and effectively and
where kids can learn how to report and avoid unsafe sites.

4. Local decision-making – not federal law – is the way to solve the

problems addressed by DOPA. Such decisions are already being made
locally, in part due to the requirements of the Children’s Online
Protection Act (CIPA) for E-rate recipients. This additional
requirement is not necessary.

5. DOPA would restrict access to technology in the communities that need
public access most. H.R. 5319 still, as presently drafted, would
require libraries and schools receiving E-rate discounts through the
Universal Service Program to block computer users from accessing

Interactive Web applications of all kinds, thereby limiting
opportunities for those who do not have Internet access at home. This
unfairly denies the students and library users in schools and libraries
in the poorest communities from accessing appropriate content and from
learning how best to safely manage their own Internet access in
consultation with librarians and teachers.

Thank you for working to ensure that all Americans have easy access to critical Internet resources!
Posted by Beth Yoke

Check out this video from the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau about the impact that the ALA conference had on their city.

Paste mms://65.56.1.67/stream3/cvb/alavideo.wmv into a web browser to view. (A media player will open up.)

It’s about 7 minutes long. See how many YALSA members you can spot (I caught Ann Symons and Stephanie Squicciarini). This certainly proves that YALSA members are photogenic!

The link is currently on the Meeting Professionals home page of the NOLA CVB here.
-Posted by Beth Yoke

Please send a fax to your member of the House Wednesday morning indicating yours and ALA’s opposition to DOPA (HR 5319). Below is a sample message that you can use or adapt for the fax.

To find out who your Representative in the House is & what their fax # is, go here:
http://www.house.gov

July 26, 2006

RE: Opposition to H.R. 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)

Dear Representative;

I write to indicate my opposition to H.R. 5319, the Deleting
Online Predators Act (DOPA). I understand this bill may come to the
House floor this afternoon and ask that you oppose this bill as it
presently reads.

No profession or community is more concerned about the safety of
children than our Nation’s librarians. Librarians in public libraries
and school library media centers work continuously to assure that

children have appropriate and safe access to the materials and
information services they need so that each each young person can become
literate and educated with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the
digital and online world.

I had hoped following the July 11th hearing on H.R. 5319 before the
Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the
Internet, that an amended version would seek to resolve some of the
problems expressed in ALA’s testimony. Unfortunately, the revised

language that ALA received only last night, does not make the necessary
changes that I believe would better serve the public interest and
contribute to true online safety for young people. As a voter in your district, I
urge opposition to H.R. 5319 for several reasons:

1. The terminology used in DOPA is still overly broad and unclear. As
written, this legislation would block access to many valuable websites
that utilize this type of communication, websites whose benefits
outweigh their detriments.

2. DOPA still ignores the value of Interactive Web applications. New
Internet-based applications for collaboration, business and learning are
becoming increasingly important, and young people must be prepared to
thrive in a work atmosphere where meetings take place online, where
online networks are essential communication tools.

3. Education, not laws blocking access, is the key to safe use of the
Internet. Libraries and schools are where kids learn essential

information literacy skills that go far beyond computer instruction and
web searching. Indeed, DOPA would block usuage of these sites in the
very environments where librarians and teachers can instruct students
about how to use all kinds of applications safely and effectively and
where kids can learn how to report and avoid unsafe sites.

4. Local decision-making – not federal law – is the way to solve the
problems addressed by DOPA. Such decisions are already being made
locally, in part due to the requirements of the Children’s Online

Protection Act (CIPA) for E-rate recipients. This additional
requirement is not necessary.

5. DOPA would restrict access to technology in the communities that need
public access most. H.R. 5319 still, as presently drafted, would
require libraries and schools receiving E-rate discounts through the
Universal Service Program to block computer users from accessing
Interactive Web applications of all kinds, thereby limiting
opportunities for those who do not have Internet access at home. This

unfairly denies the students and library users in schools and libraries
in the poorest communities from accessing appropriate content and from
learning how best to safely manage their own Internet access in
consultation with librarians and teachers.

It should also be noted that key witnesses at the July 11th hearing,
testified that limiting access to social networking sites in E-rate
schools and libraries will have little impact on the overall problem
since young people access these collaborative sites from many locations

and over a period of time.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
(put your name here)
-Posted by Beth Yoke