March 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Roger Rosen Appointed Senior Advisor for National Policy Advocacy

roger headshotThe American Library Association (ALA) has appointed Roger Rosen as senior advisor for its Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).

He will advise on ALA’s “Libraries Ready to Code.” In partnership with Google, this new project will promote interest in coding among young people, particularly those from groups underrepresented in related fields.

Rosen will also provide guidance for OITP’s Youth & Technology program, which advances the learning needed by youth in our digital society. OITP provides libraries with a voice when it comes to information and technology policy, explains Christopher Harris, editorial director of Play Play Learn and ALA Youth & Technology Fellow. “As libraries and information shift into digital spaces, the rules change. Ebooks are licensed, not purchased, and digital content is more susceptible to censorship and filtering. Digital access introduces equity issues around broadband and device availability. OITP has addressed all of this in policy briefings for ALA membership, as well as in regular updates to their District Dispatch.”

Rosen “relishes” this new opportunity. “In my 36 years as a publisher, I have witnessed an enormous amount of change in the way our society functions: technologically, conceptually, socially. I am pleased to be able to contribute to the collaboration between Google and OITP, since focusing on coding and computational thinking will have a huge impact on key areas within society where modes of thought and function will determine so much for our next generation,” he says.

Additionally, Rosen’s engagement will include accompanying ALA representatives to meetings with government or corporate officials. “He will be a tremendous asset in explaining to decision makers and influencers how libraries are transforming and are less about what we have for people and more about what we do for and with people,” says ALA president Sari Feldman.

Such strengthening of relationships beyond the library community is a hallmark of the Policy Revolution! Initiative. “We will engage individuals, such as Roger Rosen, to help spread the word about how Libraries Transform,” says Alan S. Inouye, ALA OITP director.

“The challenge here is the same as in so many attempts at innovation: to get decision-makers who are pulled in many directions to redefine categories, reimagine possibilities, and implement effective programming to be impactful,” notes Rosen.

Rosen is president and CEO of Manhattan-based Rosen Publishing, which produces more than 1,000 new pre-K–12 titles per year in various formats and offers subscription databases.

“School and public libraries both provide additional opportunities for youth to build on what they learn in the formal classroom,” adds Marijke Visser, director of the Youth & Technology program. “Roger Rosen has a long history in providing a rich array of resources to school libraries that deal with cutting edge, real world issues in a sensitive and meaningful way.”

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Christina Vercelletto About Christina Vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is School Library Journal’s former news editor. An award-winning writer and editor, Vercelletto has held staff positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, and

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