Archive for March, 2011



State Public Library funding approved by Appropriations with no cuts

Late last week, the Maryland House Appropriations Committee voted on the Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act (BRFA).  The vote included flat funding for public libraries, as originally proposed, with no additional cuts.

The Senate Budget and Tax Committee has not yet voted on the BRFA.

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Continuing Resolution keeps federal government funded until April 8th

On Friday, President Obama signed another Continuing Resolution (CR) that was passed earlier in the week by the House and then the Senate.  This bill will fund the federal government until April 8th and is the sixth CR for the FY 2011 budget year.  The bill includes $6 billion in cuts, but it does not appear that the cuts impact the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) or Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding.  Both houses of Congress are in recess for the next week.

Webinar on Federal Advocacy for School Libraries

The American Library Association Washington Office will be offering a free webinar on Wednesday, March 30th from 5-6pm focusing on federal-level advocacy for school libraries.  Learn how school librarians can take advantage of the current challenges and tell their story so that legislators will listen and agree.

For more information on the webinar and to register, go to the webinar announcement.

Advocate for Libraries on Capitol Hill! National Library Legislative Day 2011

Last year, many library supporters participated in the rally and visits to legislators on Capitol Hill for Library Advocacy Day.  This year, the annual national advocacy event for libraries, coordinated by the American Library Association Washington Office, has returned to its original format as National Library Legislative Day.  Library advocates from across the country will come to Washington, DC on Monday, May 9th and Tuesday, May 10th to learn about legislation and issues and visit members of Congress.  With many issues facing libraries this year, this federal advocacy effort will be very important.

Briefing Day

On Monday, May 9th, a briefing day will be held at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC.  Speakers will present information on federal legislation and issues that impact libraries to prepare library advocates for legislator visits on Capitol Hill.  To register, complete the online registration form.  The registration fee is $20 and includes breakfast and an afternoon snack.  (If you have trouble with the online registration, check out these instructions.)

3/30/2011 Update:  Registration will open at 8:00am.  Briefings will begin at 9:00am.

4/25/2011 Update:  Revised issue briefs have been posted.  Go to the National Library Legislative Day web page and scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Additional issue briefs will be added as they are available.

Reception

A reception will be held in the evening on Monday, May 9th on Capitol Hill.

3/30/2011 Update:  The reception will be held in the Rayburn Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building from 5:30pm – 7:00pm.

Legislator Visits

On Tuesday, May 10th, library advocates will visit members of Congress and ask for support of libraries.  In Maryland, in order to present an organized advocacy effort, formal meetings with legislators will be coordinated through the Maryland Library Association’s Legislative Panel.  If you are interested in participating in the scheduled meetings, please contact Natalie Edington, Maryland’s State Coordinator and the Federal Coordinator of the Legislative Panel, at nedington@aacpl.net by Monday, April 18th.

Hotel Information

If you are interested, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Liaison Hotel under American Library Association 2011 and they usually fill up quickly.  To make reservations, call 1-866-AFFINIA or book online

4/13/2011 Update:  There are still some rooms left in the block of ALA rooms.  The reduced rate on these rooms will be available until April 18th.  If the Liaison Hotel staff tell you that the block of rooms if full,  please contact Kristin Murphy from the ALA Washington Office for assistance at kmurphy@alawash.org or 202-628-2520.

More Information

This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.  For some additional information, you may also visit the National Library Legislative Day web page of the American Library Association Washington Office.

Senate Committee approves amended PATRIOT Act

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill, the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 (S 193), to reauthorize three provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including Section 215, the “library provision.”  The amendment requires that the government show a connection to terrorism or espionage before obtaining library or bookstore records.  Additionally, the National Security Letters will have a sunset.

The bill will now move to the Senate floor.  The current extension expires on May 27, 2011.

For more information, please see the District Dispatch posting.

Maryland Library Legislative Day 2011 – Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Maryland Library Legislative Day and helped to make it a success!

Members of the Maryland library community descended on Annapolis on Wednesday, February 23rd for the annual Maryland Library Legislative Day.  After the Senate unanimously declared the day as Maryland Library Day, library advocates visited with members of the General Assembly and their aides to talk about the value and successes of libraries of all types and to request support for the Governor’s proposed budget, including flat per capita funding (no cuts) and the full $5 million for the Library Capital Grants Program.  Many advocates reported being well-received and hearing words of support from legislators and their aides. The day ended with a reception in the Senate President’s Conference Room with 27 elected officials and about 125 library advocates in attendance.

Some library supporters who could not make it to Annapolis joined in the Virtual Maryland Library Legislative Days.  Seventeen advocates sent almost 60 messages to various legislators across the state.

Pictures of various activities throughout the day are also available.  Many thanks to the Baltimore County Public Library for sharing their photos.

Webinar on federal funding and budget process

The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office will offer a free webinar on the federal budget process, federal funds for libraries and how best to advocate for these funds.  The webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 16th from 2-3pm.  For additional information and a link to register, see the District Dispatch posting.


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