October 23, 2017

Organizations & Consortia

Knight Foundation, Aspen Institute Launch Trust, Media and Democracy Initiative

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced September 25 the launch of a major new program, the Trust, Media and Democracy Initiative (TMD), in partnership with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. The initiative will spend the next year working to explore the erosion of trust in democratic institutions—particularly the press—and examine solutions around rebuilding that relationship in order to support the role of “strong, trusted journalism as essential to a healthy democracy.” TMD will be run by the Aspen Institute, with $2 million in support from KF.

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.

Highlights from the National Conference of African American Librarians

From rebounding attendance to amazing site visits to a surprise visit from a United States congressman, the tenth National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAALX) offered attendees excitement, motivation, and unity of purpose.

Be Heard: Advocacy in Action | Federal Advocacy

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

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.

Sally Gardner Reed on 15 Years of Uniting for Libraries

As executive director of United for Libraries (UFL), the American Library Association (ALA) division that supports library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations, Sally Gardner Reed has been the organization’s driving force since 2002. Reed will be retiring at the end of July, having seen the organization grow and change greatly over the past 15 years.

“Acting for Humanity”: Libraries Worldwide Respond to UN Sustainable Development Goals | ALA Annual 2017

The majority of the offerings at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago focused on libraries and library-related content based in the United States and Canada. A notable exception was the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Chair’s Program, “Acting for Humanity: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries,” which took a look at how libraries both domestic and abroad are working to address the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations (UN) Development Programme.

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.