Magazine article American Libraries

Ala President's Message

Magazine article American Libraries

Ala President's Message

Article excerpt

Defining the Public Interest in the Information Superhighway

The centerpiece of my campaign for Equity on the Information Superhighway, an important step in advancing ALA Goal 2000, is a summit meeting titled "A Nation Connected: Defining the Public Interest in the Information Superhighway," scheduled for Feb. 20 at the Annenberg Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

The American public is being barraged with promises and proposals for the swiftly unfolding electronic information environment. Amid the rhetoric on the information superhighway, critical questions emerge about who will reap the benefits and how we can ensure a free and open information society for the twenty-first century. Our Association will sponsor the one-day summit to help define the public interest in the complex web of information-infrastructure issues.

Library ethics in America

A nationally renowned panel of experts have already accepted my invitation to participate. Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, moderator of the widely acclaimed PBS series Ethics in America, has agreed to lead the discussion of our 10 to 15 influentials from government, education, public advocacy, health care, telecommunications, computing, publishing, journalism, and the arts and humanities. Among them will be: Arno Penzias, Nobel Prize-winner and AT&T vice president; Kathleen Smyth, director of the National Information Infrastructure Award-winning Alzheimer's Support Center, University Hospitals of Cleveland; Anne Branscomb, director, Harvard's Program on Information Resources Policy; Gwendolyn Baker, president and CEO, U.S. Committee for UNICEF; Craig Howe, director, Center for the History of the American Indian; Andrew Blau, director, Benton Foundation; Esther Dyson, chair, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Deborah Kaplan, vice-president, World Institute on Disability; and Reed Tuckson, president, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. …

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