Archive for June, 2010

Library Advocacy Day a success! Virtual Library Advocacy Week just getting started!

Many thanks to over 100 Maryland library supporters who came to Washington, DC on Tuesday to attend the Library Advocacy Day Rally and visit members of Congress.  Rally participants enjoyed hearing from Lauren Myracle (YA author whose books often appear on the Banned Books list) and two library supporters in Congress–Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)  and Congressman Vern Ehlers (R-MI).  About 1600 people from across the country attended the Rally.  Pictures will be posted soon.

If you couldn’t make it to Library Advocacy Day, you can still participate in Virtual Library Advocacy Week.  Thank you for any library support you can provide!

ALA Conference program provides insiders look at libraries and national policies

“All Politics Is Local: Positioning Libraries for Success in the Capital” was a program offered at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Washington, DC.  Subjects covered including libraries and the national broadband plan, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), cyber security and more.  A video of the program is now available online.  See the District Dispatch posting for more information, including a link to the video.

IMLS and Dept of Labor announce new partnership

The Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration announced a new partnership to help job seekers get needed services in public services.  For more information, see the announcement in the District Dispatch posting.

Virtrual Library Advocacy Week – Make your voice heard!

Even if you can’t make it to Washington, DC for the Library Advocacy Day on June 29th on Capitol Hill, you can still make your voice heard!  Below is some information from the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office:

In these tough economic times, Americans need their libraries more than ever.  Sadly, libraries are often forgotten in times of crisis by everyone but the people who need them most.  For this reason, the ALA is hosting Library Advocacy Day on June 29, 2010, on Capitol Hill. 

If you can’t make this event, there are still many opportunities to get involved.  Please show your support for libraries the week of June 28-July 2 by participating in Virtual Library Advocacy Week.  This event, which will be held in conjunction with Library Advocacy Day, will be the biggest show of library advocacy on the federal level in the history of the American Library Association.  Your voice, along with over a thousand advocates rallying on Capitol Hill on the 29th, will raise awareness about the important work that libraries and librarians do on a daily basis to help kids learn to read, help people find jobs, and so much more.

A simple phone call or e-mail is all it takes.  To send an e-mail, go to http://capwiz.com/ala/home/ and click on the issue you are interested in.  The website will take you to a sample form letter.  Customize it with stories on what your local library is doing to help people look for jobs or gain digital literacy skills as well as other programs. These examples truly matter to your elected officials. 

In order to maximize our impact, when contacting your elected officials, please make the following requests:

  • Fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $300 million for FY 2011. LSTA funding is distributed to states by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through population-based grants and is the only source of federal funding for public libraries.
  • Fund the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program at $100 million so that students all across the country can obtain the 21st century skills they will need to succeed in college and the workplace.

If you’d like to call, you can also call the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your member of Congress.  If you aren’t sure who your member is, use the Capwiz link above to find out.  It’s really that simple.

When you’re done with your call, don’t forget to tweet about your experience.  Just use this hashtag: #LAD2010.

 
For more information on Library Advocacy Day, please view the posting on the Maryland Library Association’s Legislative Panel blog.

New bill – Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010

Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 (S 3480) is a new bill that would establish a new Office of Cyber Policy in the White House.  This Office would enforce cybersecurity policies in the government and in the private sector.  The bill has been controversial and some have said this would give the president an “Internet kill switch.”  The bill is scheduled for markup on June 24th.

ALA and other organizations that have formed the Surveillance Coalition have concerns about this bill regarding free speech and privacy.  They have written a letter asking for more transparency and public reporting.

For more detail about the bill and concerns, please see the District Dispatch posting.

Library Advocacy Day – More Information

Just a few updates on Library Advocacy Day, coming up on June 29th:

At the Rally, look for the Maryland sign!  ALA is providing signs for each of the states so that people can easily find colleagues.  At this point, there are at least 100 people registered from Maryland, out of about 1200 total from around the country, so we are very well represented!

 Ask Questions about Library Advocacy Day and advocacy – There are a few more opportunities:

  •  “Advocacy Hour” – Daily from 1pm – 2pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at the Membership Pavilion, Booth 2525.  Come and learn about all the ways you can get involved in library advocacy, as well as ask questions about Library Advocacy Day.
  • Q&A at the Membership Pavilion – Sunday from 12 – 1 pm and again from 2:30pm – 3:30 pm;  Monday from 11:30am –  12:30pm and again from 2:30pm – 3:30pm.  Volunteers and staff will be available to answer questions.
  • LAD / Ambassadors Desk – Located in Registration.  Staff will be happy to answer questions and register individuals for the event.

Maryland Messages – ALA has provided information on federal legislation and issues.  (See Issue Briefs.)  However, someone asked if there are any specific issues or messages that Maryland libraries would like to share.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Personal Stories – The personal story of what you and/or your library do for your customers is always valuable.
  • For Public Libraries – Stress how public libraries are connected to the community, provide free Internet access, assist job seekers, help small businesses and support education and literacy for children.
  • For School Libraries – Accentuate the positive impact that school media specialists and an effective school library program have on student achievement in reading, information literacy and helping students become 21st Century Learners.
  • For Academic Libraries – Emphasize the vital role academic libraries play in strong academic programs and in shaping the graduates who contribute to the success of Maryland’s business and industry and to the quality of life throughout the state.

For more information on Library Advocacy Day, please view the posting on the Maryland Library Association’s Legislative Panel blog.

ALA Washington Office programs @ALA Conference

The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is offering several programs during the upcoming Annual Conference in Washington DC.  For more information on their programs, see “The Beltway Insider“.



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