[Txlibdistricts] Libraries For Democracy
mikeb at benbrooklibrary.org
Mon Aug 22 14:48:19 CDT 2011
Fellow Texas District Libraries,
On July 4th, Adam Wright and I launched a new website we hope
you will find interesting and useful. It is Libraries For Democracy
(www.LibrariesForDemocracy.com). Below is the news release I sent to both
TLA and ALA. However, they haven't yet done anything with the news release,
so I'm sending it to smaller library organizations and to individual
libraries. Please take a look and let us know what you think. We cordially
invite you to join and participate. Thanks so much, Mike Baldwin
News Release for
Libraries For Democracy
Starting July 4, 2011, libraries and the general public now have a new
information resource with the mission of forging a stronger American
democracy by helping citizens to be better-informed and more civically
active. The resource is the website Libraries For Democracy (LFD),
<http://www.LibrariesForDemocracy.com> www.LibrariesForDemocracy.com. LFD
was created by two Texas public librarians, Michael Baldwin and Adam Wright.
LFD is a membership website for libraries and librarians. It allows member
librarians to gain access to and provide content for democracy and social
issues programming for libraries.
LFD is also a free information site for the public. It provides news stories
and links to democracy/social issues-related information resources that have
been vetted by LFD as providing relevant, useful information. LFD will also
provide interactive content such as a survey question of the week on an
important current issue. Responders to the survey will have their answers
and comments made available to their state and federal elected officials as
indicated by the responders' zip codes. The website also features tools for
users to locate their elected representatives and makes it easy to contact
them and to follow their legislative actions.
Another interactive LFD feature is Help Yourself! By following simple
step-by-step instructions, users will be able to quickly do something that
will save them time, money, or frustration. For example, the first Help
Yourself item is how to sign up for the federal Telemarketing Don't Call
List. LFD makes it simple to do it quickly and without hassle. These Help
Yourself items will be archived for later access as well.
The LFD website will feature a Graph of the Week that presents important
social data in the form of an easy to understand graph with commentary by
professional social scientists. Interactive games, graphics, and puzzles
that relate information on democracy and social issues will also be featured
on the LFD website. These are just some of the innovative features that LFD
hopes will make the website interesting and useful to the public.
Anyone can join LFD for only $25 per year. During the first year, a lifetime
membership is available for only $100. Libraries and organizations can join
for $25 -- $100, depending on population served. A Library member will
receive a certificate declaring it an American Democracy Center, an icon
link to the LFD website, freebies and discounts on products and services,
and access to exclusive professional information resources.
The aim of librarian memberships in LFD is to create a network of thousands
of librarians who will supply information and ideas to each other. LFD will
organize the information and make it available to members. LFD will provide
encouragement for librarians to create democracy/social issues-related
programming in their libraries. Any type of library and librarian can become
an LFD member. Because we've just gotten started and there's just the two of
us, our website is still a little rough around the edges and is definitely a
work in progress. Please consider joining LFD and help us grow into a
powerful service to libraries and to American democracy.
Michael Baldwin and Adam Wright are the founding partners of LFD. Wright is
Executive Director of North Texas Library Partners and an expert in IT
security. Baldwin is Director of the Benbrook, Texas, Public Library, and is
also a former teacher of American Government. He has published several
professional articles advocating that libraries should become democracy
centers and should make it one of their primary roles to inform the public
for responsible citizenship and civic engagement. That is what Libraries For
Democracy hopes to accomplish.
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