Archive for the 'advocacy' Category

Advocacy Alert! Net neutrality protections eliminated in draft FCC order

Your advocacy is needed! As was expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman shared a plan to eliminate net neutrality. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the plan on December 14. The FCC is not accepting public comment, but we can put pressure on Congress to strongly disapprove the proposal. 

To take action, visit the American Library Association’s (ALA) advocacy engagement and contact your members of Congress. A pre-written letter is provided and you can personalize your email to make it more effective. If you prefer to call, you can use Engage to identify your members of Congress and obtain their contact information. Additional background information may also be found at advocacy engagement link.

ALA is seeking disapproval from all members of Congress, but has a particular interest in those who serve on committees that have oversight for the FCC—the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Please note that Representative Sarbanes serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Please encourage others to contact Congress, too. Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 

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Library Funding Bill Passes in Subcommittee

The Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to recommend level funding in FY2018 for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), likely including $183 million for the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) & $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program!

The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the subcommittee bills as soon as next Wednesday, July 19th. See more information in the letter from ALA President Jim Neal on the District Dispatch.

Many thanks for all of your advocacy, particularly contacting Representative Harris who serves on the subcommittee that voted!

Advocacy Alert! IMPORTANT: LSTA & IAL, Critical Round 2 with Andy Harris

We are now entering the critical round two of the Fight for funding for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) / Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) funding. Please act quickly and be relentless!

ALA’s Washington Office has informed us that key decisions will be made regarding IMLS/LSTA and IAL by a special subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee called “Labor H” beginning in the upcoming week.   Maryland’s own Andy Harris is on that special subcommittee and will play an influential role so it is essential that those who are his constituents phone and write Representative Harris as soon as possible—and that they spread the word to other pro-library constituents.  See the links below and please act now. 

ALA Washington Office tell us that : “If the “numbers” that the Subcommittee appropriates for IMLS, LSTA and IAL are low or zero, that will leave them in huge trouble as this first Subcommittee vote is by far the most important and influential in the entire appropriations process. That makes the members of the House “Labor H” subcommittee who represent you – especially its Chairman (OK) and seven other Republicans (AL, AR, ID, MD [Andy Harris], MI, TN, WA) – the most important members in all of Congress at this point when it comes to federal library funding for FY 2018.”

Remember that we were encouraged by another member of Congress to not give up on Representative Harris—that we can and will influence him if we continue to be determined and persuasive!  Now that effort is of the utmost importance.

Don’t forget that numbers are critical!  Harris Constituents, please call and write and also get the word out to your Friends, Foundations, Staff Associations, students, parents, etc. Congressional  Aids will literally tally the number of calls and emails and tell Members of Congress the level of support for libraries.

Here are some of key facts and links:

  • ALA asks Rep. Andy Harris’ constituents to contact their DC office immediately through the ALA Legislative Action Center to urge support for IMLS, and $186.6 million for LSTA and $27 million for IAL in FY 2018: the same funding levels for LSTA and IAL specified in the Dear Appropriator letters we all finished calling about just before Memorial Day. The ALA Legislative Action Center is all set to permit anyone entering a zip code in your Congressperson’s District to use its draft email message, or to customize the text as they wish.  THEN, Call Representative Harris’s Office: 9am-5pm Monday-Friday DC Office Phone: 202-225-5311
  • Maryland received 2.9 million dollars in LSTA funding in FY 2016.   IAL, designed to help only the poorest school libraries, is supported Baltimore City Public Schools through a grant in 2016.  Your examples of how IMLS/LSTA and IAL funds have impacted your county community are powerful with your representative.  Consider examples regarding training, statewide leadership form the state library, support for innovation in services, evaluation, and increasing positive community impact.   Loss of LSTA funds would devastate the State Library Agency (Division of Library Development & Services), as the funds are used for their operations, as well as to support state-wide training, MLA Conference programs, the Maryland Library Leadership Institute and more. LSTA issue brief available at: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/state-lsta-funding-history.

 

  • Additional information about LSTA and IAL funds in Maryland are available on the Maryland Engage site.

Our determined efforts in May had a huge impact on the number of Dear Appropriator Letters from Maryland representatives.  Let’s not lose that momentum as actual budgetary decisions for FY 2018 are being made by the House Appropriations Subcommittee and Rep Harris.  Write and call and spread the word.

Thank you!!

Advocacy Alert! Make LSTA and IAL a funding priority!

Many thanks for all of the calls, emails and tweets! Congressman Brown, Cummings, Delaney, Raskin and Sarbanes signed onto the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) letters! Please take a moment to thank them for their support.

Our next step focuses on Congressman Ruppersberger. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he can put LSTA and IAL on his funding priorities list. Please call (202-225-3061) or fax (202-225-3094) his office, especially if you live in his district. If you do not, you can still make the contact because he represents Maryland on the Committee. Check out the map of his district, or enter your address on Engage to identify your elected officials.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Advocacy Alert! Save IMLS, LSTA and IAL!

As you have probably heard, President Trump’s FY18 federal budget proposal eliminates all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This would include the elimination of all federal funding to libraries and the impact on Maryland libraries would be significant. A few statements and articles:

The American Library Association (ALA), both as a whole and its many parts, have been working to prevent the elimination of IMLS. Your advocacy is also very much needed. Here are a couple of ways that you can help now:

1. Ask Representatives to sign onto Dear Appropriator Letters asking for full funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL): This is a very tangible way to show support for IMLS, who receives and distributes these funds to states. You can use Engage to call, email or tweet your Representative. The email engagement does include a pre-written letter that you can personalize to increase the impact. Representatives must sign on by April 3rd. For more information, including a link to the letters, see the District Dispatch article.

In Maryland: Check this database from the ALA Washington Office to see who has signed on to each letter for this year (FY18) and who signed on last year (FY17). Filter by state to see Maryland’s elected officials. As members of the Committee on Appropriations, Representatives Harris and Ruppersberger cannot sign the Dear Appropriator letters, but can include LSTA and IAL in their list of priorities. Last year, Representatives Cummings, Delaney and Sarbanes signed onto the IAL letter, but no Representatives signed onto the LSTA letter. It is critical to have everyone who can sign on this year.

2. Tweet with the hashtag #SAVEIMLS: Share your IMLS story about how funding supports your local community. Search the database of grants at to learn about grants awarded. See more information on how the tweets are being tracked.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide! More opportunities to advocate will be shared as they become available.

 

Update on Advocacy Alert to Reposition the State Library Agency and Strengthen Maryland Public Libraries

Good news! The bills passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate in time for the cross-over to the other house. This is a very good sign! 

Even once the bills are finalized and passed, the changes will not be immediate. There will be a transition period. More information will be shared as it become available.

A big thank you to everyone who contacted their elected officials! I encourage you to contact them again to say thank you for their support. You can use Engage to send a simple email.

 

 

Advocacy Alert! Reposition the State Library Agency and Strengthen Maryland Public Libraries!

Your advocacy is needed to build support for SB0587 and HB1094!

Maryland Advisory Council and Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators are sponsoring a bill to reposition the administrative structure of the State Library Agency (DLDS) within the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  This bill is the result of more than 10 years of careful consideration, conversations, and debate among public libraries and library support groups.

If passed, the bill, SB0587 with cross-file HB1094, will allow the State Library Agency to have a more articulated vision and the flexibility to meet the needs of public libraries and the communities they serve. Talking Points are available to give more details and background information.

Your advocacy is needed! Please take the time to contact your legislators and ask them to strengthen Maryland Public Libraries by voting for SB0587 / HB1094. Use the pre-written letter available to contact your legislators. Feel free to add to the message using the Talking Points or to personalize it with your story. Check the Senate bill and House bill and be sure to thank any of your legislators who have co-sponsored the bill. You can also see if your elected official is serving any of the committees that will be hearing the bills in early March–Senate Budget & Tax, Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs or House Ways & Means.

Take Action Now!

Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide!



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