Archive for October, 2011

Request for Stories on State of School Libraries

Thank you to everyone who contacted Senator Mikulski and ask for her support of school libraries! She did sign on. However, while the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) did pass out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, it did not include the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act or any amendment to support school libraries. (For more information, please see the Legislative Panel’s blog post.)

The school libraries amendment is expected to be re-introduced on the Senate floor, so there is still time to help! The American Library Association Washington Office is seeking stories about the state of school libraries that illustrate the consequences of underfunded school library programs. These stories will be used to help make the case to Senators for the need to reauthorize ESEA with the school libraries amendment.

For more information about what types of stories they are looking for and where to send them, please see the request below from the American Library Association Washington Office.

Thank you in advance for any stories and support you can provide!

Request for stories from the American Library Association Washington Office:

Continue reading ‘Request for Stories on State of School Libraries’

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ESEA passes out of committee without school library amendment

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee today and Senator Mikulski did vote for the bill. However the amendment in support of school libraries was withdrawn due to lack of support. One of the sponsors of the amendment has stated that he would like to introduce an amendment to the full Senate, so there may be another opportunity. For more details, please see the District Dispatch posting.

Thank you to everyone who contacted Senator Mikulski asking her to support  school libraries! If an amendment is introduced on the Senate floor, then we will need your help again with contacting both Senators.

Congressional District Map changes passed in Senate & House, heading for final approval

After only a few days of the special session of the Maryland General Assembly, the redrawn lines of Congressional District Map have passed in both the Senate and the House. Technical changes to the map are expected to pass another Senate vote today before moving on for final approval from Governor O’Malley.

Most of the changes are to the sixth district, currently held by Republican Congressman Roscoe G. Bartlett, and to Montgomery County. The redrawn lines do have some opposition from Republicans and minorities, who feel that their representation is threatened. For more information, check out the Baltimore Sun article.

Maps of the 2011 Congressional Districts may be viewed on the web site of the Maryland Department of Planning and Redistricting.

Action Alert! Ask Senator Mikulski to Support School Libraries ESEA Amendment

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10/21/2011 Update: ESEA passed out of committee without the school libraries amendment. For details, please see the Legislative Panel blog posting.

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Thank you to everyone who has already contacted Senator Mikulski to ask for her support of school libraries in the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act! Here is another opportunity to contact Senator Mikulski and help school libraries by asking her to vote for an amendment that will be introduced on Wednesday, October 19th. Please read on for more information, including talking points, from the American Library Association (ALA). 

The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to mark-up (vote on) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) beginning on Wednesday, October 19.  As of now, Senator Murray (D-WA) has done a good job including libraries into the legislation; however there are still areas where there needs to be more.  There is an amendment that will be introduced during the mark-up by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) that will further address school libraries’ role in education.

Senator Mikulski sits on the Senate HELP committee and will be voting on this amendment when it is introduced.  Please call Senator Mikulski today at 202-224-4654 and ask her to support the Whitehouse/Murray amendment on school libraries.

This legislation, if passed, will impact education policy in this country for years to come, so it is critically important that we make sure libraries are included in this bill.

For more information about why this vote is so critical, please see the District Dispatch posting.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy efforts!

Talking Points:

Continue reading ‘Action Alert! Ask Senator Mikulski to Support School Libraries ESEA Amendment’

Turning the Page 2.0 – A free public library advocacy program

The Public Library Association (PLA) with support from the Gates Foundation is offering another six-week session of their Turning the Page 2.0 advocacy training. Registration for the October-December session closes on October 18th. The session will be offered two more times in 2012. For details and registration, visit the Turning the Page 2.0 web site.

Action Alert! Contact Senators to co-sponsor SKILLs Act & support school libraries

Many thanks to everyone who has already contacted Senators Mikulski and Cardin asking them to co-sponsor the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs, S 1328) Act and support school libraries! The American Library Association Washington Office (ALA-WO) is making another push for more phone calls. A Capwiz Action Alert with talking points is available.

When you enter your ZIP code on the Action Alert, you have the opportunity to complete a feedback form describing your phone call. ALA-WO has received 66 of these feedback forms and is hoping to receive 150 of them by the end of Thursday. Please take the time to complete the form.



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