Saturday, December 9, 2017

Net Neutrality: A Resource List

Update: The FCC will vote on the proposal to repeal net neutrality on December 14th. 

By: Celia Dillon
The Brearley School 

With the possible repeal of net neutrality regulations, librarians have been called on to speak out about this issue. As librarians we're experts at making resource lists, so here's a net neutrality resource list, for reactions ranging from "What's net neutrality?" to "Why are librarians involved?" to "What can I do about this?" The repeal is set to be announced on December 12th. 

What is net neutrality? What are arguments for and against it?: These cards by Vox are a great place to start. They provide background information about what Net Neutrality is, it's historical  context, and well-written arguments for and against Net Neutrality regulations. The cards were written in 2015 so they don't specifically address the current repeal proposal, but are still a great place to start from and are straightforward enough to share with students. This video shares information about what net neutrality is through an engaging representation of content on the internet as packages. This is also a clear, straightforward resource to share with students. While you're there, check out the video "The New Neutrality Rules." Watch this useful video and information from Politico technology reporter Margaret Harding McGill. 

Ok, ok...but how does net neutrality affect librarians?: Read the ALA's statement about net neutrality. It gives great background information about net neutrality and also describes how the repeal will specifically affect libraries. Read this article from the American Association of School Librarians. Though it makes several of the same points the ALA statement makes it frames them specifically in terms of school libraries.

I want to do something! What can I do? 

Share information with students, encourage them to learn more, and to speak out. This is also a great opportunity to work together with our technology coordinators. At Brearley we wrote a statement about the repeal of Net Neutrality signed by both the librarians and technology coordinators and shared it on the student news Google group. We stated our concern about the proposed repeal, but also encouraged students to read information about both sides of the issue and develop their own opinions. This website compiles many different action items including a space to write or call Congresspeople,  a sorting tool that tells you whether Congresspeople in your state have come out for or against net neutrality repeals, and information about how to participate in a day of action on December 12.  You may have heard that  fake anti-net neutrality comments have been submitted to the FCC website. This website allows you to search to see if your name was used as a fake commenter. Share a comment on the FCC website. 

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