Information and Digital Policy

“But our children don’t think about how they can be inventors and creators and producers of new technologies, new ways of learning, and I don’t think they realize the power they have to advocate for change and build new policies.
I hope that we can enable them so that they can change the way that they learn to the ways that they want to learn.”

Rane Johnson Stempson, Microsoft Research

Policy is driven by data, by research, by people’s behavior, wants and needs. Policy drives decision-making and funding. But the gaps between research, policy, and practice remain wide.

In our interviews and discussions, we found several major themes:

  • A large span exists between policy and research. A major effort is needed across researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to establish shared understandings and work for improved collaboration across the field.
  • There is an urgent need for the creation and dissemination of policy materials. In particular, there is a need for evidence-based statements on the importance and role of libraries and librarians in supporting digital youth.
  • Policy implications are unfortunately not always well thought out. Practitioners are sometimes charged with implementing seemingly simple policies that have larger, and more long-term implications than originally thought.