Archive for December, 2009

ALA requests more funding for public computer centers

The American Library Association (ALA), along with other organizations, sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) requesting that additional funding be allocated to the amount available for the Public Computer Centers (PCC) program of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).  The demand in the first round was significantly greater than the minummum allocation of $200 million.  For additional information, including a link to the letter, see the District Dispatch posting.

PATRIOT Act sunset deadline extended until 2/28/2010

Last week, Congress voted to extend the sunset deadline on several provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, including Section 215, until February 28, 2010.  For more details, see the District Dispatch posting.

CPSC to release additional guidance on CPSIA

According to the District Dispatch:

“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (5-0) to extend a stay of enforcement on testing and certification of many regulated children’s products under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). While enforcement of specific CPSC testing requirements has been stayed, the products must still comply with all applicable rules and bans.” 

CPSC must also still respond by January 15th to a directive from Congress:

“…the CPSC must assess enforcement efforts of section 101(a) – the section impacting libraries – including difficulties encountered. They must also release recommendations for improvement to the statute.” 

For more information, including a link to the CPSC press release, see the District Dispatch posting.

Broadband Stimulus Funds – 1st round of recipients announced

The first round of recipients of broadband stimulus funds was announced last week.  A White House press release includes a list of the first-round recipients and indicates that $2 million will be distributed on a rolling basis over the next 75 days.

ALA Advocacy Award

The American Library Association (ALA) has a new Presidential Award for Advocacy sponsored by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF).  The award is given to a state group that exhibits excellent advocacy efforts measured by a number of criteria, including their use of Capwiz.  The Florida Library Association (FLA) was this year’s recipient for their efforts to reinstate funding in the 11th hour.

For details of FLA’s efforts and about the award, see the complete press release.

Senate passes omnibus appropriations bill

Over the weekend, the Senate passed the omnibus appropriations bill.  The bill will now go to President Obama for a signature.  He is expected to sign it.

Omnibus bill passes in House; includes $213.5 million for LSTA

On Thursday, the House passed an omnibus bill that included six of the seven remaining appropriations bills. (The defense bill will be handled separately.) The bill contains $213.5 million for the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA). While it still falls short of the desired amount, it is more than the $172,561,000 that was included in the original House version of the appropriations bill (HR 3293) that was passed in July.

The Senate is expected to begin work on the bill this weekend or early next week. If it passes quickly, it may be passed on to the President before the Continuing Resolution expires on December 18th.

For a little more detail about the bill, see the District Dispatch posting.

Of the Maryland Representatives, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Edwards, Hoyer, Cummings and Van Hollen all voted for the bill. Feel free to use Capwiz to contact your Congressman to say thank you.

Legislative Preview – State legislative session will be tough

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael Busch hosted a legislative preview in Annapolis on Tuesday evening.  They reported that state revenues are expected to fall again in the next fiscal year, which will create quite a challenge for the state legislators who must develop a balanced budget.  They indicated that additional budget cuts will be necessary, including to education.  For a more detailed account of the preview, read this article from the Capital News Service.

Webinar available online: Get Legislators in Your Library!- from ALA Washington Office

The November 18th webinar entitled “Get Legislators in Your Library!”  is now available online–both the video and the PowerPoint slides.  

Program Description:

One of the best ways to get legislators to listen (and, more important, support you) is to show them what your library does to benefit the community.  Believe it or not, members of Congress still think of libraries as “those places with all the books.”

The good news is that your opportunities to make a real difference are just around the corner.  Members of Congress and their staff will be coming back to their districts for the Thanksgiving and Winter District Work periods (exact dates to be determined).  

Whether it’s a meeting with your trustees, friends or employees, a visit to your library or inviting legislators and staff to a holiday event, this session will offer practical tips for making these visits as worthwhile as possible.

ALA files with FCC importance of libraries in economic development

On Friday, the American Library Association submitted a filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that highlights the important role libraries play in workforce development, access to government resources and other aspects of economic development.  For more information, including a link to the filing, see the District Dispatch posting.

Past Posts

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