Archive for April, 2010

Final BTOP Round 1 grant awards announced

The final recipients of Round 1 Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) were announced in a press release from the Department of Commerce.  The first recipients from Round 2 should be announced this summer. 

One multi-state grant was awarded to One Economy Corporation.  The list of states included Maryland.  According to the press release, the award was:

 “$28.5 million sustainable broadband adoption grant with an additional $23 million applicant-provided match to implement a comprehensive program of computer training, wireless Internet access, broadband awareness marketing, and online content and applications to residents of 159 affordable and public housing developments and low-income communities in 50 cities and towns across 31 states and the District of Columbia.”

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Public Research bill introduced in House

The Federal Research Public Access Act, HR 5037, was recently introduced in the House.  This bill would ensure free online access to results of research funded by taxpayers dollars.  The bill has been referred to the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.  Maryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Chris Van Hollen both serve on this committee.  There is also a mirror bill in the Senate—S 1373.  The Senate bill was referred to committee in June 2009 and has not had any activity since.  For additional information, go to the District Dispatch posting.

Preservation bill introduced in Senate

Preserving the American Historical Record Act, S 3227, was introduced recently in the Senate.  This bill would ensure the preservation of historical records in many formats through a grant program to states.  For more details, including a link to the Senators’ press release, see the District Dispatch posting.

BIP Round 2 Public Notice Filings posted

According to the BroadbandUSA web site:

 “RUS has posted Public Notice Filings of the proposed funded service area(s) of each Round 2 BIP Infrastructure application. You are now able to view these filings by going to the BroadbandUSA Mapping Tool. For more information about the Public Notice Filings, please click on the “Public Notice” menu option.”

School Librarian testimony on ESEA reauthorization

As announced previously, Jamie Greene  testified on Friday on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Video & PDF of Testimony – This Committee page includes the video of the testimony, as well as a PDF file of the testimony.  Ms. Greene’s testimony begins about 36 minutes into the video and lasts about 4 minutes.  Scroll down the page for a PDF copy of her testimony.

Comments – This District Dispatch posting includes comments from the American Library Association (ALA) on Ms. Greene’s testimony.

Conference Committee finalizes Library funding; Collective Bargaining bill makes no progress

The Maryland General Assembly’s session is over.  The budget was finalized in Conference Committee.  Here are the preliminary results, along with an update on the Collective Bargaining bill.

  • Operating Budget – In Conference Committee, it was decided that both the regional and county/Baltimore City libraries will be frozen in FY 2011 (which starts this July) at the current levels of $6.75 per capita for the regional libraries and $14.00 per capita for county libraries.  They have stated that libraries will go up to the FY 2012 level as stated in the law ($7.50 per capital for the regional libraries and $15.00 per capita for the county libraries)  and will top out at that rate thereafter.  That means that the 4th year per capita increase as originally passed in 2005 will not happen.  The law for the State Library Resource Center (SLRC) currently states that they will remain cut at $1.67 per capita for FY 2011, but will go back to $1.85 per capita in FY 2012.
  • Capital Budget – The committee agreed to take the House version of the Capital Budget and remove the cap of $800,000 per library capital grant project.  This is a major victory.
  • Collective Bargaining Bill – This bill did not make it out of committee in either the Senate or the House.

School Librarian to testify on ESEA

Jamie Greene, a school librarian at Hugh Cole Elementary School in Warren, RI, and president of the Rhode Island School Library Association, will testify before a Senate Committee on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  She will talk about the importance of school libraries in education and the need for school libraries to be included in the reauthorization.

Ms. Greene was invited to testify by Senator Jack Reed (RI-D) and met with him today to prepare.  The hearing will be held at 10am on Thursday and is scheduled to have a live streaming video online.  For more information, including details about the online streaming video, please see the District Dispatch postings: Posting #1 and Posting #2.



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