Advocacy Alert! Save IMLS, LSTA and IAL!

As you have probably heard, President Trump’s FY18 federal budget proposal eliminates all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This would include the elimination of all federal funding to libraries and the impact on Maryland libraries would be significant. A few statements and articles:

The American Library Association (ALA), both as a whole and its many parts, have been working to prevent the elimination of IMLS. Your advocacy is also very much needed. Here are a couple of ways that you can help now:

  1. Ask Representatives to sign onto Dear Appropriator Letters asking for full funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL): This is a very tangible way to show support for IMLS, who receives and distributes these funds to states. You can use Engage to call, email or tweet your Representative. The email engagement does include a pre-written letter that you can personalize to increase the impact. Representatives must sign on by April 3rd. For more information, including a link to the letters, see the District Dispatch article. In Maryland: Last year, Representatives Cummings, Delaney and Sarbanes signed onto the IAL letter, but no Representatives signed onto the LSTA letter. It would be great to have everyone sign on, especially Representatives Harris and Ruppersberger who serve on the Committee on Appropriations.
  2. Tweet with the hashtag #SAVEIMLS: Share your IMLS story about how funding supports your local community. Search the database of grants at to learn about grants awarded. See more information on how the tweets are being tracked.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide! More opportunities to advocate will be shared as they become available.

 

Update on Advocacy Alert to Reposition the State Library Agency and Strengthen Maryland Public Libraries

Good news! The bills passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate in time for the cross-over to the other house. This is a very good sign! 

Even once the bills are finalized and passed, the changes will not be immediate. There will be a transition period. More information will be shared as it become available.

A big thank you to everyone who contacted their elected officials! I encourage you to contact them again to say thank you for their support. You can use Engage to send a simple email.

 

 

Advocacy Alert! Reposition the State Library Agency and Strengthen Maryland Public Libraries!

Your advocacy is needed to build support for SB0587 and HB1094!

Maryland Advisory Council and Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators are sponsoring a bill to reposition the administrative structure of the State Library Agency (DLDS) within the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  This bill is the result of more than 10 years of careful consideration, conversations, and debate among public libraries and library support groups.

If passed, the bill, SB0587 with cross-file HB1094, will allow the State Library Agency to have a more articulated vision and the flexibility to meet the needs of public libraries and the communities they serve. Talking Points are available to give more details and background information.

Your advocacy is needed! Please take the time to contact your legislators and ask them to strengthen Maryland Public Libraries by voting for SB0587 / HB1094. Use the pre-written letter available to contact your legislators. Feel free to add to the message using the Talking Points or to personalize it with your story. Check the Senate bill and House bill and be sure to thank any of your legislators who have co-sponsored the bill. You can also see if your elected official is serving any of the committees that will be hearing the bills in early March–Senate Budget & Tax, Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs or House Ways & Means.

Take Action Now!

Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide!

Email Privacy Act passed in House

The Email Privacy Act (HR 387) passed by voice vote in the House on Monday night. Many thanks to everyone who reached out to their Representative to encourage support of the bill!

The bill now moves over to the Senate. The American Library Association Washington Office and its partners in the Digital Due Process Coalition are working together to strategize the advocacy efforts for the Senate. Stay tuned for another request for advocacy.

For more information, see the District Dispatch article.

 

Advocacy Alert! Contact House before Mon 2/6 on Email Privacy Act

Your action is needed on or before Mon 2/6! From the American Library Association Washington Office:

“On Monday, February 6, the entire House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 387 using a special procedure that will protect it from amendments and expedite the process. That procedure (known as a suspension of the rules) also requires that it receive support from two-thirds of the Representatives voting, not as a simple majority. The bill should have no trouble clearing that hurdle. Given how many Members of Congress and their staffs are brand new-and how important this vote is-we cannot afford to sit back and watch.

“With the crucial vote on H.R. 387 set for Monday, we have no time to lose. Help us send the Email Privacy Act to the Senate with another unanimous vote in the House. Contact your Representative now.”

Background: This the same Email Privacy Act that was unanimously passed in the House last year (HR 699), then stalled in the Senate. If passed, it would extend 4th Amendment privacy protection to emails, texts, tweets, cloud-stored photos and files, and other electronic communications.

Last year’s vote was unanimous, and all of MD’s Representatives who were in office last year voted for the bill (Cummings, Delaney, Harris, Hoyer, Ruppersberger and Sarbanes). Congressmen Harris and Cummings were also co-sponsors of the bill. It is still critical to ensure that they vote in support of the bill this year.

Take action! Please take a moment on or before Mon 2/6 to contact your Representative via email (a pre-written letter is provided), phone or tweet using Engage at http://cqrcengage.com/ala/. Additional background information and talking points are also available at this link.

Thanks in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 

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!

 

 



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