Archive for April, 2012

Action Alert! Call Congress this week for Virtual Library Legislative Days, 2012!

On Tuesday, April 24th, library advocates from across the country will visit members of Congress and their aides in Washington, DC for National Library Legislative Day, an event coordinated by the American Library Association. Even if you can’t make it to DC, you can still participate in this national advocacy effort by calling your representatives in Congress during Virtual Library Legislative Days any day this week. In addition to saying a simple thank you for their support, there are many issues about which you can voice your opinion. See the Capwiz Action Alert for details and talking points about issues, including:

  • LSTA – Ask for level funding for FY 2013 for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to support public libraries. Senators Mikulski and Cardin and Congressman Van Hollen signed Dear Colleague letters in support of this in the Spring.
  • Literacy – Ask for level funding in FY 2013 for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program for school libraries. Senator Cardin and Congressmen Cummings, Sarbanes and Van Hollen signed Dear Colleague letters in support of this in the Spring.
  • Privacy – Ask members of the House to oppose HR 3523, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA) and similar bills. These bills will likely be addressed this week. Please note: Congressmen Bartlett and Ruppersberger are co-sponsors of HR 3523.
  • and more! 

Thank you for taking the time to contact your representatives in Congress and strengthen our national advocacy voice in support of libraries!

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Action Alert! Ask the House to vote NO on Cybersecurity bills

Please take the time to call your representative in the House and ask them to vote NO on Cybersecurity bills. Several Cybersecurity bills, including HR 3523, The Cyberintelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), will be addressed during this week—Cybersecurity Week. There are many concerns with CISPA, such as the fact that it allows private entities to share large amounts of information about our electronic communications with the government without legal review or warrant. The District Dispatch has more information on the concerns. For talking points, see the Capwiz Action Alert.

Please note that Congressmen Ruppersberger and Bartlett are co-sponsors of CISPA.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy efforts!

Webinar video available: National Library Legislative Day 2012, What to Know Before You Go

If you missed the webinar, there is now a video of available of Tuesday’s webinar to prepare you for National Library Legislative Day. Links to other resources mentioned in the webinar are also available. For a description, see the earlier blog post.

More information about National Library Legislative Day is available on the Legislative Panel blog.

MD Legislative Session ends with “doomsday” budget

The 90-day session of the Maryland General Assembly ended last night and legislators failed to pass a tax bill that would help balance the $36 billion budget. This means that as of July 1st, the “doomsday” budget, which is balanced by more than $500 million in cuts, will go into effect unless something is done. This would not include a shift in pension costs from the state to the local governments, but would cut $512 million for education, libraries, public safety and other programs (approximately a 10% cut to public library funding).

Governor O’Malley could call a special session to work on a plan to increase taxes and limit or eliminate the budget cuts. The Governor has not yet said what he will do.

For more details about the outcome of the legislative session, see these articles:

National Library Legislative Day 2012 – Webinar: What to Know Before You Go

The American Library Association Washington Office is offering this free webinar on Tuesday, April 10th at 1:00pm. Before heading to Capitol Hill for National Library Legislative Day, learn how to be the most effective during meetings with legislators and more. See this link for more information, including how to register.

More information about National Library Legislative Day is available on the Legislative Panel blog.

2011 Legislative Scorecards available

What legislation of interest to libraries did Maryland’s legislators support in 2011? Check the American Library Association’s Legislative Scorecards for the Senate and the House to find out. You can thank legislators for their support and focus your message on other areas where they could increase their support.



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