Published January 26, 2011
The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information and Technology Policy (OITP) released a report that outlines the key changes to the E-rate program that go into effect in September. According to the District Dispatch:
“The report also outlines the American Library Association’s (ALA) efforts to review the rule changes, compare these changes to the previous program rules, and inform the library community of the resulting impact on the eligibility of various services and the application process.”
The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office released a summary of the Net Neutrality order issued last month by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The summary also includes concerns about the new order.
Companies are also reacting to the new Net Neutrality order. A blog article from the Washington Post discusses the corporate side of this subject.
Published January 24, 2011
Tags: Benefits, Budget, Funding, FY 2012, Governor, O'Malley, Pension, Public Libraries, Regional Libraries, SLRC, State Library Resource Center, State Teachers Pension, Teachers Pension
On Friday, January 21st, Governor O’Malley released the Maryland state budget proposal. Two areas are of most interest to libraries:
It appears that public libraries, the State Library Resource Center (SLRC) and the Regional libraries have all been flat funded, with only the formula causing a small change.
The Governor is proposing retaining the existing defined benefits system. However, the proposal includes a one-time choice for current employees to a) continue to contribute 5% with a 1.5% benefit multiplier (reduced from 1.8%) or b) increase their contribution to 7% and continue to earn benefits with a 1.8% multiplier. New employees will automatically contribute 7% and receive a 1.5% benefit multiplier. More information about the pension system and other benefits is available on the Governor’s web site.
To view the proposed budget, Powerpoint presentations, budget highlights, video of the announcement and more, visit the budget announcement on the Governor’s web site. The budget proposal has now been turned over to the General Assembly.
A bill (HR 272) has been reintroduced in the House to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to exclude ordinary books from required lead testing standards. Lead tests on books have found lead levels far below the future requirements. Last year the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a report stating that although Congress did not intend to include ordinary books, the CPSC could not grant an exclusion for these items. The CPSC issued a one-year stay for implementation, which is set to expire on February 10th.
HR 272 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The complete list of committee members for the 112th Congress has not yet been posted, but Sarbanes did serve on this committee in the 111th Congress.
Please contact your representative in the House and ask them to support and/or co-sponsor HR 272. A Capwiz Action Alert has been set up at and provides additional background information and talking points.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
The 90-day legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly began last Wednesday, January 12th. So far, there has been no action related to library issues. For a summary of opening day, see the Gazette article.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now includes libraries on the list of facilities that need a temporary location during a major disaster or emergency. Senator Jack Reed was instrumental in bringing about this change. This is a great victory to help libraries provide essential services when beginning to recover from an emergency. For a few more details, please see the District Dispatch.