Obama Echoes Libraries For Free & Open Internet

Andrew AlbaneseIn this week’s State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, President Barack Obama promoted the value of education and entrepreneurship as well as pledged a response to global warming. But a major plank in the speech specifically singled out a “free and open Internet” as a top Administration concern. Publishers Weekly senior writer Andrew Albanese thinks the President has been listening to the nation’s librarians.

“Whether it is net neutrality or billions in funding for broadband in libraries and schools, the ‘library lobby’ has been pushing hard – and successfully,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “The question the American Library Association faces now is the same question facing the President: so what happens next with the new Republican-controlled Congress?”

Ahead of traveling to the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, Albanese notes the conference schedule includes a keynote by U.S. Senator from Illinois and Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

“That session will look at everything from federal library funding efforts to copyright reform, as well as key privacy and surveillance statutes,” Albanese says.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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