August 17, 2017

Be Heard: Advocacy in Action | Federal Advocacy

U.S. library advocates battle unprecedented challenges to federal support; you can help.

What’s Next for Federal Funding | Federal Advocacy

With FY17 and FY18 and presidential and congressional budgets all jumbled together in the news cycle, it can be tough to keep track of what’s still on the table and when it needs attention. At right is a time line of what to expect in the fight for federal funding for libraries. While it’s accurate as of press time, the situation has been changing rapidly, so sign up for the American Library Association’s Washington Office District Dispatch e-newsletter to get the most recent updates.

The State(s) of National Advocacy | Federal Advocacy

Since its founding in 2012, EveryLibrary, the only political action committee (PAC) for libraries, has mainly focused on helping libraries win elections for local funding levies, building and operating referenda, and independent taxing districts—the bread and butter of American library support at the local level. But the threat to national funding demanded a different approach.

Vendors Get Organized | Federal Advocacy

On May 17, some 25 publishers, technology vendors, trade associations, and other businesses serving the library market announced the formation of the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI) to advocate for federal library funding.

ALA: Fighting for Funding | Federal Advocacy

On July 13, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies voted to recommend level funding in FY18 for IMLS, likely including $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. The full Appropriations Committee markup and vote took place on July 19; the budget passed 28–22. While the vote was an important step toward securing federal library funding going forward, the fight is not over, says ALA president Jim Neal.

Tools You Can Use | Federal Advocacy

At ALA’s recent annual conference, ALA’s Washington Office (WO) reported to Council that the 2017 National Legislative Day was the biggest ever. But if you missed it, fear not—WO and ALA as a whole also have many tips for how local librarians on the front lines can get involved with the fight for federal funding from their hometown without traveling to DC. For more tools and tips, see ALA’s Fight for Libraries! Campaign Tools.

Hit Refresh | User Experience

The World Wide Web is always evolving, and user expectations constantly respond to prevailing trends. Navigation habits become conditioned by content management system (CMS) templates, common screen layouts, search bar locations, and menu designs that shape how people use popular websites. And libraries have to keep pace.

Lifelong Literacy | Strategic Planning

Developing literacies across a wide spectrum of applications is central to the mission of libraries. Whether building early literacy skills with the youngest of customers and their families or providing programming to support digital, information, financial, food, and other adult literacy skills, libraries can best find success in these avenues by making sure they are intentionally included in the development of the strategic plan and, in the process, rethought afresh just as newer services are, rather than taken for granted.

Meaningful Measures | Assessment

Measuring outcomes can be a vital aid to justifying library work to voters, funders, and stakeholders—as well as determining strategic direction—but it can also be overwhelming.

The Midcareer MLIS | LIS Education

When it comes to what makes a good librarian, the first requirement is experience—whether in the library, working with records, or talking to patrons and students. But sometimes there is no substitute for earning a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree—either to meet the benchmarks necessary to further a career already in progress, or to shift from an (often already successful) path in another profession.