Policy Paper: The Internet, Public Computing, and Public Libraries. This final paper for my Libraries, Information, and Society class at GSLIS was my first sustained dive into the library literature, and my first attempt at a real policy survey and critique.
I looked into the current state of public computing in libraries and the policy and funding environments that surround it. I came to a conclusion that while libraries have responded heroically to the social demand for public computing and computing instruction over the past two decades, the overall policy situation both within the profession and without is chaotic and uncoordinated, and the current funding and support model is unsustainable even in the medium term.
I recommended that libraries and librarianship decide what their long-term role is in the provision of public computing services, how to prioritize this in relation to their other longstanding commitments, and how to formulate a positive and consistent policy. They should then use this policy to lobby governments at the state, local, and federal levels for the resources necessary to meet these needs on a sustainable basis.
This was more of a survey than a polished professional product, but it gave me a good base command of the issue and of the current policy landscape around public computing and community technology in the U.S, and it sharpened up my research abilities for looking into other similar issues of professional import in the future.