Upcoming COLA Board Meetings

Tuesdays at 5:30 PM:  March 7, and May 9, 2017, at the Barrington Senior Center; April 13, 2017 (annual meeting) at the State House.

Advocate for ESSA School Library Funding

COLA board member Cheryl McCarthy graciously volunteered to create a template letter of support for ESSA funding for School Library Media Programs in RI.  Read More…

From the Chair

Howard Boksenbaum

Howard Boksenbaum

What am I doing reading Teen Vogue? Daily Kos sent me there. . . .  We librarians all, at some level, see ourselves as, if not the guardians of truth, at least guardians of the material and methods of finding truths.  A couple of decades ago, when the Internet was young, I was fond of trotting out Ten Infoethics Conundrums, a framework for thinking about library principles in the age of the Network. Number 6 I called “the truth—the whole truth—damned lies and statistics.” Already, I was nervous about telling fact from fiction—illumination from gaslight—in the online world and was convinced that libraries and librarians would have to be on the forefront of the battle for truth. What we have come to call information literacy would have to be everywhere in schools, colleges as well as on the street; if not in the libraries there, where?

We have just inaugurated a man who, Lauren Duca tells us in her now viral December 10 Teen Vogue article, “won the Presidency by gas light.” That is, Trump won the election by so normalizing mendacity as to make our nation doubt our grasp of what truth is. Duca goes on to discuss how to check facts and recognize truth online, and she shares Merrimack College Professor Melissa Zimdars’ list of fake news sites and tips on identifying them.

We are indeed facing a time of increased need for the principles that drive us and our libraries, and that at a time when there are fewer of us (and, in the like of schools, colleges and hospitals fewer libraries).  What can we do? One thing is to pursue and practice information literacy and share resources like these widely:

Another is to continue our advocacy work to ensure that our libraries and our principles persist in the lives of our students, our neighbors and our nation.



See what we’ve been doing – and contact us with ideas for COLA activities and newsletter articles.

COLA Newsletter, November 2016.


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