Archive for February, 2011

Action Alert! Ask Senate to maintain LSTA and ILTSL funding

Last week, the House passed a Continuing Resolution (HR 1) to fund the rest of FY 2011.  While the Continuing Resolution does include a continuation of funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), it zeroed out funding for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program.

The Senate is now drafting their own version of the Continuing Resolution.  Please contact Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin and ask them to maintain the 2010 funding for both LSTA and ILTSL.  A list of how LSTA funding is used in Maryland is available.  For additional talking points, and to take advantage of the pre-written letter, check out the Capwiz Action Alert.

If you prefer to call, the phone numbers are:

  • Senator Mikulski – 202-224-4654
  • Senator Cardin – 202-224-4524

The current Continuing Resolution is set to expire on March 4th, so this will likely move quickly.  Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts with the Senate on these important issues!

Net Neutrality Update

Last week, a number of things happened regarding net neutrality.  A District Dispatch posting provides more details and links to additional information on the following:

  • Amendment to FY2012 bill passed – This amendment introduced by Senator Walden (R-OR) would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using federal funds to implement its net neutrality order.  This amendment was included in the FY2012 bill that passed in the House and is heading to the Senate.
  • Hearings held – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, as well as the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, held hearings on net neutrality.  Video or written documentation is now available.
  • Letters of opposition – The American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE submitted a letter opposing any attempt to eliminate the FCC’s recent net neutrality rules.  Other letters of opposition from a diverse group of organizations were also submitted and are available for viewing.
  • Joint Resolution – House and Senate Republicans issued joint resolutions (SJ Res 6 and HJ Res 37) disapproving of the recent net neutrality order approved by the FCC.

It is unclear what will happen with net neutrality in the Senate.

This District Dispatch posting also includes a link to a complete list of activity in the 112th Congress dealing with net neutrality.

Action Alert! Virtual Maryland Library Legislative Days 2011

Let your voice be heard!  The second Virtual Maryland Library Legislative Days are being held to coincide with the live Maryland Library Legislative Day advocacy event.  Between February 23rd and March 2nd, members of the Maryland library community—library staff, trustees, Friends groups, customers, volunteers—are encouraged to use Capwiz to write to their state legislators.  Please take the time during this week to send a personal message to your state representatives to share your story about the value of libraries!  To begin, go to Capwiz and click on the Take Action button below Maryland: Virtual Library Legislative Days.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!

House passes Continuing Resolution for FY2011 budget; bill moves to Senate

On Friday, the House passed a Continuing Resolution for the budget for the rest of FY 2011.  This includes funding for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) and the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA).  Maryland legislators all voted against the entire Continuing Resolution, except for Congressmen Bartlett and Harris, who voted for the bill. 

The Continuing Resolution is now in the hands of the Senate.  The Senate is on recess this week, but will pick this up on Monday, February 28th.  The current Continuing Resolution is set to expire on March 4th.

Library partner needs help; Maryland Humanities Council faces funding cuts

Governor Martin O’Malley released his proposed FY 2012 budget for Maryland.  In this budget, funding for the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), through the Maryland Historical Trust, was zeroed out for the first time in nearly 25 years. This represents a loss of $53,500, money that supports free public programs and grants to local museums, historical societies and libraries.

Libraries in Maryland have benefited from MHC’s excellent programs such as One Maryland, One Book, which is coordinated by the Maryland Center for the Book, a program of the MHC.  The elimination of these funds would be a significant loss for Maryland’s libraries and the citizens of this state.

It is vital to restore this funding to MHC.  To find out how you can help, please visit the Maryland Humanities Council’s web site.

PATRIOT Act amendment fails, sunset extended

On Friday, the House defeated Conyers Amendment #524 to HR 1, the Continuing Resolution for the FY2011 Budget.  It would have made improvements to reader privacy in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Additionally, both the House and Senate passed a bill to extend the sunset of three provisions of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire soon.  These provisions, one of which is Section 215, will now expire at the end of May 2011.  The president is expected to sign the bill.  This will allow another three months of debate over improvements, such as those in Amendment #524.

For a few more details, see the District Dispatch posting.

Amendment #35 to cut IMLS & LSTA defeated in House!

The Amendment #35 to HR 1, the Continuing Resolution to the FY2011 budget, was defeated!  Representative Garrett (R-NJ), who introduced the amendment has indicated that he will not push for a vote on the amendment.  This means that funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds, will remain intact for the rest of FY2011.  For more details, please see the District Dispatch posting.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their representative to voice your opinion about this critical cut!

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