Action Alert! Ask Senators to include librarians in Jobs bill

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced today that he and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) will be introducing the Senate version of Jobs for Main Street Act or simply jobs bill.  This bill will be $80 billion aimed at getting Americans back to work.  Because this bill has not been introduced, there is no bill number yet.  Sources on Capitol Hill have indicated that libraries are not included in this bill and that the Senators’ offices are hearing almost nothing from the library community about this omission.

 The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is urging people to contact Senators and ask each of them to request that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) include the hiring and retaining of librarians in the $18 billion allocated for teachers.  Be sure to tell them what your library is doing to help people find jobs.  Some additional background information from the ALA Washington Office appears below.

 You may contact Senators by phone (Senator Mikulski – (202) 224-4654; Senator Cardin – (202) 224-4524) or via e-mail using the Action Alert on Capwiz.  To get to the Action Alert and more details, go to Capwiz and click on the Take Action button below the alert entitled “Out of Work Librarians Need Your Help NOW!”  A sample letter is provided and would be even more effective if you personalize it with information about what your library is doing to help people find jobs.

 Background:

  1. Libraries play a key role in getting America back to work again.  Nationwide, the library is the only source of no-fee Internet access for 71 percent of Americans. With more and more job applications only being accepted online, the public library is becoming the center of most American’s job searches.
  2. State Library Agencies reported in November 2009 that 77 percent of states cut funds that support local public libraries, which has meant layoffs, staff furloughs, and forced retirements. This has caused a 75 percent cut in services to the public including canceled statewide databases used for job searching, homework help, and cuts in 24/7 reference, which are used by small businesses and students.
  3. Our proposal to be a part of the $20.5 billion program to create jobs that provide public services would not add any additional funding, but would give libraries a specific amount to draw on. 
  4. The money would be used for library jobs that are focused on assisting patrons with getting back to work – thereby having the impact of assisting literally millions of Americans find employment. None of these funds would be used for facilities or equipment.
  5. These funds would be distributed in a clear, concise, affirmative manner. Funds would be distributed to states using a formula through IMLS based 50 percent on population, and 50 percent on relative unemployment (similar to the Department of Labor’s Dislocated Worker Program).
  6. The Chief State Library Officer in each state would be responsible for distributing funds to local public libraries based on their local needs.
  7. A minimum amount of funding per library could offer one library staff job per building based upon need and a maximum of five full-time staff.
  8. Funds would be limited to hiring back staff released due to budget cuts, recruiting new staff and/or expanding staff services around job searching and employment skills training. 
Advertisements

1 Response to “Action Alert! Ask Senators to include librarians in Jobs bill”


  1. 1 Lucy February 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: