December 16, 2017

Legislation

Kansas City Public Library Raises Minimum Wage for Employees

As Missouri continues its two-year clash with its two largest cities over minimum wage regulations, Kansas City Public Library (KCPL) director R. Crosby Kemper III has taken matters into his own hands.

ALA Launches Policy Corps

On October 3 the American Library Association (ALA) launched the ALA Policy Corps, an initiative that will bring together a core group of library practitioners from across the field and help them develop a deep expertise in public policy issues.

House Approves IMLS, LSTA, IAL Funding for FY18

When President Donald Trump released his preliminary budget proposal for FY18 in March, revealing major cuts to government spending that would have eliminated support for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the library community took the threat as a call to arms. The dynamic response paid off on September 14, when the full House of Representatives voted to approve a spending package, H.R. 3354, that would preserve federal funding for IMLS at FY17 levels, as well as all funding for its programs under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program.

GPO Requests Recommendations to Update Federal Deposit Library Rules

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) director Davita Vance-Cooks has asked the Depository Library Council (DLC) to recommend changes to Chapter 19 of Title 44 of the U.S. Code, a request that has some members of the government information community concerned and others encouraged. Chapter 19 codifies GPO’s Federal Deposit Library Program (FDLP) into law, guaranteeing that the government will provide its information for free to the general public, and has not been significantly revised since the early 1990s.

OITP’s Report from the Swamp | ALA Annual 2017

Looking beyond the headlines to examine public policy issues that affect the American Library Association (ALA), panelists at the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) session “Report from the Swamp: Policy Developments from Washington” discussed the need for ongoing vigilance—and also promising avenues for advocacy.

Q&A with Kathi Kromer, ALA Washington Office Associate Executive Director

On June 5, Kathi Kromer stepped into the role of associate executive director of the American Library Association (ALA)’s Washington Office, succeeding Emily Sheketoff, who led the Washington Office for more than 17 years and retired on May 15.

Federal Budget Compromise Keeps—and Boosts—IMLS Funding

UPDATE: Trump’s FY18 budget request to Congress, released May 23, proposes to cut nearly all funding for IMLS, NEA, NEH, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among many severe cuts to social service and non-millitary domestic programs. The proposed budget would keep ten percent of IMLS’s budget for costs necessary to shut down the agency.

New Bills Would Let President, not Librarian of Congress, Name Copyright Register

A bill empowering the president to appoint the next Register of Copyrights, which would effectively remove jurisdiction over the position from the Librarian of Congress, sailed through the House of Representatives 378–48 on April 26 and will now continue to the Senate. The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, also known as HR 1695, was introduced on March 23, and would make the Register—who has traditionally been appointed by the Librarian of Congress—a presidential appointment, with the advice and consent of the senate.

Open Carry in Play for Nevada Libraries

A bill that would allow each Nevada library to decide for itself whether to bar firearms is due to be taken up by the Nevada Assembly, after winning passage through the Senate. Weapons would be prohibited from public library property, unless the owner has written permission from the governing board of the library.

The Politics of Being a Trustee

November’s presidential election led to a surprising result for many. Even among those who voted for the current president-elect, a lot of people did not actually expect him to prevail over a former senator and secretary of state. And almost immediately, everyone from regular people to media pundits were chiming in on what the election will mean for the country.