Archive for May, 2012

ALA offers new text message advocacy service

The American Library Association (ALA) is offering a new advocacy service called Mobile Commons. People who sign up for this opt-in text message service will receive advocacy text messages from ALA. The text messages will include issue talking points and the ability to call legislators directly. This service will allow ALA to communicate more quickly and effectively, and make it easier for advocates to contact their legislators.

For more information and to sign up for this service, see the District Dispatch post.


Cybersecurity bill passes in the House

The Cyberintelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA, HR 3523) passed in the House. Co-sponsors Congressmen Bartlett and Ruppersberger, along with Congressman Harris voted for the bill, while Congressmen Sarbanes, Hoyer, Cummings and Van Hollen, and Congresswoman Edwards voted against it. The bill has now moved to the Senate where it was referred to committee. (See the District Dispatch post for more background on the bill.)

You are encouraged to take the time to thank the members of Congress who voted against the bill.

White House responds to online petition to support school libraries

The White House has responded to the We the People online petition in support of school libraries. The petition was started in January and received over 28,000 signatures. To see the petition and the White House response, go to the We the People web site. For some commentary on the White House’s response, check out the blog of Carl Harvey, who introduced the petition. (For more background on this petition, see the earlier blog post.)

National Library Legislative Day 2012 – Wrap up of the 38th annual event

Over 350 library advocates, including about 40 people from Maryland, visited Washington, DC on April 23rd and 24th for National Library Legislative Day. Advocates learned about key federal legislation with impact on libraries and visited with members of Congress and their aides to discuss these issues. Library supporters who could not come to Capitol Hill were encouraged to participate in the Virtual Library Legislative Day, which resulted in over 300 messages sent to legislators, plus phone calls and contacts via social media.

Key issues included asking for support for full funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and full funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a source of dedicated funding for low-income school libraries, as well as bills to work toward filling Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests more quickly and providing free access to taxpayer-funded research. Maryland’s legislators and aides overall expressed great support of libraries and recognized their value. Our efforts served to grow the connection with Maryland’s members of Congress and will serve to assist with advocacy efforts throughout the year.

Library advocates who visited Senator Mikulski’s aide are pictured below. Additional photos from this event (including a few advocates from Maryland!) appear on the American Library Association’s National Library Legislative Day web site.

Many thanks to all who participated in this important federal advocacy event—both in person and virtually!

 Mikulski delegation

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