Archive for March, 2011

House approves cut to Public Library Capital Grant funding

The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a 20% cut to the Public Library Capital Grant funding from $5 million to $4 million.  This is in line with the 20% cut to the general Capital Budget.

State Senate approves level Public Library Funding

The Maryland State Senate approved the Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act (BRFA).  As did the House, the Senate kept flat funding for public libraries, as it was in the original proposal.

The BRFA will now go to Conference Committee to allow representatives from the Senate and House to reconcile the differences between the Senate and House versions of the budgets.  Since level funding for public libraries was included in both budgets, this should not change.

Advocacy program to be offered at ALA Conference

If you are attending the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in June, you may be interested in the advocacy program being offered by the ALA Washington Office.  Details, including how to RSVP, are included below.

Title: Federal Advocacy – Take it to the next level!

Description: The current political climate in Washington, D.C. offers challenges – and, believe it or not, opportunities – for librarians.  Faced with proposed budget cuts for school libraries, literacy programs and library technology services to ongoing copyright and privacy issues, it’s time to speak up and make a difference!  This session will provide you with the tools and resources you need to build your advocacy skills.  You’ll walk away with a step-by-step plan for developing and delivering your message, building relationships with legislators (including how to run a successful site visit) and, most important, engaging others in the community.  It’s time to speak up and speak out – you’re the only ones who can! 

Date: Sunday, June 26

Room: TBD

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (lunch will not be provided, but feel free to bring your own)

Space is limited – please RSVP to Kristin Murphy at kmurphy@alawash.org.

Your Library Can Win $3000 in Teen Video Contest!

The American Library Association is sponsoring the Why I Need My Library video contest for teens.  Teens can create a short video on why they think libraries are so needed now.  The deadline for entries is April 18th and the winners’ libraries can win cash prizes.  For more information, including how to enter, visit the Why I Need My Library video contest web site.

If any teens from Maryland’s libraries submit a video, please send me a link to it and I will post an announcement and link on this blog.

Judge rejects Google Books settlement

Yesterday, Judge Chin, a U.S. District Court judge, rejected the settlement in the Author’s Guild et al vs. Google Inc. case.  Judge Chin stated that while the digitization would benefit many, the settlement would go too far.  For more information, including a link to Judge Chin’s opinion, see the District Dispatch posting.

Action Alert! Save the Statistical Abstract

Late last week, the library community discovered a proposal to eliminate funding for the Statistical Abstract.  The American Library Association (ALA) has two efforts going to stop this proposal.

  1. Share examples of how people use the Statistical Abstract – The ALA Office of Government Relations is collecting examples of how the Statistical Abstract and the National Data Book are being used by libraries and citizens.  For more information, including how to submit examples, see the District Dispatch posting.
  2. Contact Legislators – The ALA Washington Office has set up a Capwiz Action Alert with additional background information and talking points for contacting legislators.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide!

Statistical Abstract included in proposed budget cuts

The Census Bureau has proposed eliminating the U.S. Statistical Abstract as part of an FY 2012 budget reduction plan presented to Congress.  (See the full plan or the relevant excerpts posted by the Population Studies Center of the University of Michigan.)  This resource would no longer be published in print or online.  Although little information is available, it is felt in the library community, particularly the academic library community, that this valuable resource would be a significant loss.  In this plan, the County and City Data Book and the State and Metropolitan Data Book would also be eliminated.

There is no coordinated effort yet to save these resources, but people are beginning to contact legislators about their concern over this proposed cut.  Hailey Mooney, Data Services and Reference Librarian at Michigan State University Libraries, has written a letter that she shared on a Government Documents discussion list (GOVDOC-L) with permission for people to adapt it for their use when contacting members of Congress.



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