Advocacy Alert! Ask Congress to co-sponsor key library program bill

Your advocacy efforts are needed! Please take a moment to contact Senators Mikulski and Cardin and ask them to co-sponsor the bill to reauthorize the Museum & Library Services Act. Read on for more information from the American Library Association Washington Office, including talking points and a link to call or email our Senators.

Every year, nearly $200 million in federal library funding is awarded to every state in the nation by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS can do that work, and gets the funding it needs, in no small measure because Congress passed and periodically “reauthorizes” the Museum and Library Services Act. It’s time for Congress to renew that important landmark legislation again and library champions in the Senate have just introduced a bill, S. 3391, to do exactly that. With just a few weeks remaining after the November elections to get it passed, however, we need to help them help us by getting as many other Senators to “co-sponsor” S. 3391 as possible.

Please, don’t wait until November. Act now to email or call your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor S. 3391, the Museum and Library Services Act, as soon as they get back to Washington.

The more cosponsors we can get, the better the odds that the key Senate “HELP” Committee will act on the bill when the Senate returns so that the full Senate will have the chance to approve it before the 114th Congress comes to a close in December.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Senate approved nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden!

Yesterday, the Senate approved Dr. Carla Hayden as our next Librarian of Congress! Senators Mikulski and Cardin both voted in support of her nomination. See a more details in the American Library Association’s Legislative Action Center article.

Many thanks to all of you who reached out to our Senators to show that the Maryland Library community also supported Dr. Hayden! Congratulations, Dr. Hayden!



Advocacy Alert! Dr. Hayden Needs Your Help!

Many thanks to those of you who have already contacted our Senators in support of Dr. Hayden’s nomination for Librarian of Congress!

 If you haven’t already, there is still time to contact by email, tweet or phone! If you’ve never contacted your legislators, this is an easy one. See details and talking points at the American Library Association’s Legislative Action Center. Our Senators have already expressed their support of Dr. Hayden, so let’s show that the Maryland library community also supports her nomination!

Thanks in advance for your advocacy efforts!


Advocacy Alert! Protect LSTA and IAL Funding

Although the President’s FY 2017 budget proposal includes level funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), libraries are still being cut. Funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is cut by over half a million dollars. Keeping LSTA funding at $186.6 million would allow libraries to continue critical programs. The proposed budget does include level funding for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) at $27 million.

The Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be working on the IMLS budget mark up as early as next week. Senator Mikulski is a member of this subcommittee. Please take a moment to contact the Senator and ask her to continue her long-standing support of libraries by keeping IAL funding at $27 million and restoring funding to LSTA at $186.6 million. Talk about how the LSTA cut will negatively impact library services. Check out this LSTA handout created by Maryland’s Division of Library Development and Services (DLDS) to see how LSTA funds are used to transform lives statewide. For more information on how to contact Senator Mikulski, go to the American Library Association’s Engage website and click on Send an Email (provides a pre-written letter), Make a Call or Send a Tweet.

Thanks in advance for your advocacy efforts!


Advocacy Alert! Tell Congress that Cataloging and Politics Don’t Mix

The Library of Congress has long-standing, professional practices and principles that are used to propose updates to subject headings. In March, the Library of Congress did just that, proposing to update the subject headings “Aliens” and “Illegal aliens” to “Noncitizens” and/or “Unauthorized immigration.”

However, the House Appropriations Committee is ready to order the Library of Congress not to make those changes. A vote will likely occur in a few days.

Maryland has two members of Congress that serve on the House Appropriations Committee—Congressman Harris and Congressman Ruppersberger. If they are your representatives, please contact them to ask that they respect the Library of Congress’ professional opinion by keeping any instructions or discussion of subject headings out of the Library of Congress’s funding bill and its legislative report. More background information and how to contact your elected officials appear in the links below:

Not sure who your elected officials are? Just enter your ZIP code on the right in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box on the Action Center.

A more detailed explanation appears in the District Dispatch.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!


Email Privacy Act passes unanimously in House; moves to Senate Judiciary Committee

The Email Privacy Act (HR 699) passed unanimously in the House, 419-0—an unheard of vote. The American Library Association Washington Office’s District Dispatch reports that “The successful joint effort produced a bill that will amend ECPA [Electronic Communications Privacy Act] so that, for the first time, any authority seeking the actual content of an individual’s emails, texts, tweets, online photos, files stored in the cloud and other electronic communications will first have to get a real search warrant from a real judge.”

All of Maryland’s Representatives voted for the bill except Congressman Van Hollen, who did not vote. Please take the time to contact your Representative and thank them for their support, especially Congressmen Cummings, Edwards and Harris who co-sponsored the bill.

The work is entirely done. The bill has now moved over to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hope is that the Senate will either pass HR 699 or its own similar bill, S 356.

For more information, see the article in the District Dispatch.


National Library Legislative Day 2016 – Updated

It’s that time of year again! National Library Legislative Day!
  • When: Monday, May 2 and Tuesday May 3, 2016
  • Where: Liaison Hotel, Capitol Hill, Washington DC
National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) is an annual, two-day advocacy event organized by the American Library Association. The event brings Library advocates, Library supporters, Librarians, Trustees, and Friends from across the United States together in Washington DC to meet with members of Congress and their aides to advocate and encourage support for libraries.
Briefing Day – Monday, May 2nd is a briefing day. You may register for this session through April 22nd on the NLLD webpage. Walk-in registrations will also be accepted at the door.
Virtual Briefing Day – New! – Briefing Day will be streaming live starting at 9am on Monday.
Issue Briefs – The 2016 issue briefs are now available. This year, all of the briefs are in this one document.
Reception – The reception will be from 5-7pm in Room 902, Hart Senate Office Building. Members of Congress and their staff have been invited by the American Library Association (ALA) and library supporters are welcome.
Legislator Visits – Tuesday, May 3rd is when most of the visits to Congress occur. If you are interested in joining a delegation for a visit, please contact Natalie Edington at by Monday, April 25th.
Virtual NLLD – Can’t make it to Washington DC? You can still participate virtually through Friday, May 6th. Visit the American Library Association’s advocacy page for more information on Virtual NLLD, including how to email, call or tweet your elected officials. There will be an opportunity to participate in Virtual NLLD via phone, email and tweets. Register at this site to receive talking points and other resources. Encourage others to register, too!
For more information, please visit and check back on this Legislative Panel blog.

%d bloggers like this: