Archive for June, 2011

Action Alert! Include Public Libraries in Workforce Investment Act!

Many public libraries are already assisting job seekers in a variety of ways.  We now have an opportunity to include public libraries in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) when it is reauthorized.  This would allow public libraries to benefit from WIA funding and collaborative opportunities.  The Senate Heath, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee will be introducing this bill on Wednesday and Senator Mikulski serves on this committee.  To get public libraries included in the reauthorization bill, contact Senator Mikulski’s office at 202-224-4654 by 5pm on Tuesday, June 21st and ask for her to include public libraries in the WIA Reauthorization.  Additional details are available in the Capwiz Action Alert.   Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!

Advocacy program at ALA Annual Conference

If you are heading down to New Orleans for the Annual Conference of the American Library Association, you may be interested in attending this program on federal advocacy:

Federal Advocacy – Take it to the next level!

Congress has a long to-do list for the end of this year and into 2012. The reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act and appropriations for FY2012 are just a few of the items on their agenda that affect libraries.  This program will cover a variety of skills and strategies to make you the best federal advocate you can be.

Date: Sunday, June 26
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: MCC – Rm. 276

Legislative updates now available on Twitter from ALA Washington Office

The ALA Washington Office has set up a new Twitter profile to keep people updated on federal legislation of interest to libraries, including when a bill is introduced or voted on.  If you already have a Twitter account, just follow ala_wo_leginfo.  For more information, including how to set up a Twitter account, see the District Dispatch posting.

Maryland Senators sign on to LSTA & ILTSL letter!

Senators Mikulski and Cardin have both signed onto the Dear Colleague letter in support of funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program.  The American Library Association Washington Office confirmed their signatures in their District Dispatch posting.  (For background information on the request, see the Legislative Panel’s blog posting.)

Thank you to everyone who contacted Maryland’s Senators to ask for their support!  These grassroots efforts have certainly made a difference!  Don’t forget to contact the Senators to thank them for their support.  This can be easily done using Capwiz.

Action Alert! Contact Senators to sign onto LSTA & ILTSL Dear Colleague letter

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6/10/2011 Update:  Both Senators have signed onto the letter.  Please feel free to thank them.  See the Legislative Panel’s blog posting for more details.

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Please contact Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin asking them to sign onto a Dear Colleague letter in support of FY 2012 funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL).  Signatures are needed by close of business on Wednesday, June 8th, so please call soon.  This effort is being led by Senators Jack Reed and Olympia Snowe.  Senators should contact Elyse Wasch in Reed’s office or Matthew Hussey in Snowe’s office to sign onto the letter.

When you ask the Senators to sign on, it may help if you describe at least one valuable service that your library provides the community or a success story about a library patron.  Examples include access to computers and data services to aid job searchers, support for small businesses with marketing data and other resources or teaching digital literacy to people of all ages including K-12 students.

For Maryland, LSTA funding amounts to approximately $3 million and is used to fund AskUsNow, the Summer Reading Club and staff training grants, as well as special projects in local libraries across the state.

Here are the phone numbers for the Maryland Senators’ offices:

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

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!

Senate passes Faster FOIA Act

On May 27th, the Senate passed by unanimous consent the Faster FOIA Act of 2011, S 627.  According to a floor statement by Senator Leahy, one of the bill’s sponsors, “This important bill will establish a bipartisan commission to examine the root causes of agency delays in processing Freedom of Information Act — FOIA — requests, and to recommend to the Congress and the President steps to help eliminate FOIA backlogs.”  Feel free to use Capwiz to thank Senators Mikulski and Cardin.

S 627 has now been moved to the House and referred to the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.  A companion bill, HR 1564, was also introduced and referred to the same committee in mid-April.  Congressman Cummings serves on this committee.

For more details, please see the District Dispatch posting.



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