Archive for November, 2013

Changes to Social Media for ALA Washington Office

From the District Dispatch (

The American Library Association is making a few changes in the social media world. To make sure that social library supporters receive ALA news from the entire organization, ALA leaders are going to share news items and updates from two main social media profiles. Effective this week, the ALA Washington Office will begin to share social posts on the flagship ALA Twitter (@ALALibrary) and Facebook accounts. We encourage all librarians and library supporters to follow and ‘Like’ the two social media profiles, since we’ll continue to share library policy news on those channels.

This means that we will discontinue the @ala_wo and ALA Washington Office Facebook profiles for general news posts, but keep them active for live-tweeting events and other similar occasions. Advocates can still keep up with Washington news that affects libraries by following the main ALA profiles at @ALALibrary and on Facebook. They can also subscribe to the District Dispatch blog via email or RSS, continue to follow the ALA Washington on tumblr, Pinterest or flickr or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Action Alert! Contact your Representative Protect Access to Federally Funded Research

A new bill, The Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2013 (FIRST), has been introduced in Congress. The current language of Section 302 would restrict public access to articles reporting on federally-funded research for up to three years after the initial publication. The American Library Association (ALA) opposes this language because it limits public access.

To learn more about this bill and ALA’s opposition to it, please see the District Dispatch post.

To use Capwiz to contact your representative, go to the Capwiz Action Alert. A pre-written letter is provided, which can be personalized to make it more effective.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy efforts! information is now on

Effective November 19, 2013, when accessing, you will be redirected to has grown since it’s beta release in Fall 2012 through a collaborative effort between the Library of Congress, U.S. Senate, U.S. Representatives, and Government Printing Office (GPO). The new site includes bill status, texts and summaries, direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Record, committee reports, legislative process videos and committee profile pages going as far back as the 103rd Congress.

The Library of Congress will offer webinar classes on on January 16th, March 11th, and May 15th.  To register, complete the seminar form at Basic help information is also available through this link.

EveryLibrary Examines Library Success at the Polls

EveryLibrary, a political action organization focused on local library ballot measures, released a preliminary report on libraries at the polls. At least $230,000,000 in tax revenue and bonds were at stake for libraries in elections held between January and November 5th of this year. According to John Chrastka, EveryLibrary’s Executive Director, we should learn from the big
picture and use the information to better strategize for other local libraries..

The full report is available online:


Raising Library Visibility in Washington

From the District Dispatch:

Today, the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy announced that the organization will immediately begin work on a national public policy agenda and action plan for U.S. libraries with support from a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Nearly $1 million in funding over three years will enable the ALA to increase library visibility and build capacity for sustained action on the national level.
The telecommunications, information technology, and content industry interest groups in Washington, D.C., are large and influential in federal policymaking. Advancing library and information policy objectives in this crowded and competitive field has been the founding purpose and driving force behind OITP.

Free Webinar – The Fiscal Situation in Washington – And How it Gives Librarians a HUGE Advantage

The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, November 13th, 4-5pm. Despite Congress’ lack of popularity, libraries have a huge advantage. Learn how to use that advantage to avoid setbacks and even make great strides forward. Advocacy resources being developed in response to an ALA Washington Office survey will also be reviewed. Registration for this webinar is available online.

Action Alert! Ask Your Senators and Representative to Co-Sponsor USA FREEDOM Act

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced a bill, the FISA Improvements Act, that also addresses NSA spying. ALA does not support this bill as it would codify the worst aspects of bulk data collection.

The USA FREEDOM Act is a stronger bill and continues to garner bipartisan support in both chambers. See the Capwiz Action Alert to get more detailed information and to contact your Senators and Representatives. Please also thank Congressman Cummings for co-sponsoring the bill.

ALA Town Hall on Ebooks

If you care to listen to the American Library Association (ALA) Virtual Town Hall on Ebooks last week,  the archive of the webinar is available to view at your leisure. You may also download the slides.

A summary of the session is available on the American Libraries E-content blog, “ALA Moves Forward in Ebook Arena.” The town hall highlights ALA advocacy during the past two years, focusing on the intensive engagement with the largest book publishers. Future directions for ALA, libraries, and the publishing industry are also discussed. To keep up on future developments, check out the American Libraries E-content Blog—the place for major news and developments on library ebooks and ALA.

Past Posts

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