Washington Office Update

Several big Washington Office projects are having congressional impact.

The ALA PATRIOT Act Study (‘Impact and Analysis of Law Enforcement Activity in U.S. Libraries’), an attempt to gague the impact of Section 215 on libraries, is now in the data analysis stage — preliminary data appears solid, though some audience members were sub-satisfied with the specificity of the questions asked, which limits usability of the results.

  • Response rates: ~33% public libraries in a stratified sample, ~25% academic libraries from the census
  • 137 reports of official, paper/documented requests for information *nb: Atty Generals Ashcroft & Gonzalez say Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act has been used 0 times *nb2: there is no legal way to answer a specific question regarding this, so there is no good way to aggregate this

Relevant links:

Public libraries and the Internet 2004 Survey results:

  • 98.9 libraries provide free internet access
  • 10.4 public computers / public library building
  • 90% of libraries report not enough computers available at peak hours
  • 48% of libraries report ‘high-speed’ (>769kbps) connections
  • 18% provide wireless, 21% more plan to go wireless within a year

Relevant links:

OITP Telecommunications Blog: