POTUS in our corner: eBooks and the next LoC


President Obama signs a bill into law that supports the role of libraries in education last year. From District Dispatch. President Obama has generally been supportive of libraries.

Since politics is in the news today (hello Super Tuesday!), I wanted to balance the generally negative political news with two announcements that came out last week from the White House.

Ebooks and open access

President Obama and the First Lady have both been outspoken supporters of the power of books in the hands of children. So it’s no surprise – but still awesome – that they recently announced the launch of Open eBooks. Open eBooks was put together by a coalition of nonprofits and publishers. It is an app that offers free access to a number of educational resources, including National Geographic’s suite of resources for youth. Open access is huge to both educators and librarians. Hopefully the resource can be widely used by students who can benefit most from them. Learn more about Open eBooks and get the app by visiting the group’s website.

Librarian of Congress

The Librarian of Congress retired last fall and there has been much debate circling around this individual’s role in the future of libraries. From whether this nomination should continue to be a life term to whether a librarian should be in this role to what the exact duties of this individual are, many people have weighed in.

First, I wanted to share some links about the Library of Congress and why the next Librarian of Congress is such an important issue for libraries:

Last week, President Obama announced his nomination for the next Librarian of Congress:

Dr. Hayden has a lot of what ALA wished for, and a lot of what the position desperately needs. It only bodes well for the profession to have a librarian with her experience in this role. Now we wait to see if the nomination goes through.

While you wait, check out a recent blog post on the topic from Kevin Smith, the Director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke University. In it he discusses the challenges Hayden may face as her nomination goes before Congress. Here’s hoping common sense and not political machinations win the day.


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