May 22, 2018

Legislation

Oregon Governor Fires State Librarian

In a decision that caught many members of the Oregon library community by surprise, Gov. Kate Brown fired Oregon State Librarian MaryKay Dahlgreen on March 13.

Federal Budget Compromise Keeps—and Boosts—IMLS Funding

UPDATE: 3/26/18: On Friday, March 23, President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill for FY18—after first threatening to veto it in an early-morning tweet. The bill will, among other provisions, keep the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and other government-funded culture and education agencies afloat through September.

Net Neutrality Concerns Spark Criticism of ALA Madison Award Pick

On March 9 the ALA Washington Office announced the recipients of its annual James Madison Award, given to “individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.” However, this year’s choice, U.S. Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Mike Quigley (D-IL)—recognized for their work as cofounders and cochairs of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus—has drawn fire because of Issa’s opposition to net neutrality and other issues that, critics say, run counter to ALA’s stated Code of Ethics.

Marrakesh Treaty Bill Introduced

On March 15 the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559) was introduced in Congress, moving the United States closer to implementing the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The treaty was adopted in 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)—the United Nations international copyright arm—at an international diplomatic conference in Marrakesh, and has since been ratified by 36 countries.

Save Government Information! | Peer to Peer Review

Today, access to born-digital federal government information is relatively easy. Most of it is even available for free. But there are few legal guarantees to ensure that the information published today will be available tomorrow. Now, the GPO Reform Act of 2018 about to be introduced in Congress, pitched as a modernization of the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), will actually endanger long-term free public access to government information.

Compass Reading: IMLS’s 2018–22 Strategic Plan Sets a New Tone | Editorial

With 2018 under way, the work to ensure key funding at the federal level steps up. On December 21, 2017, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) of 2017. The bill, essentially a reauthorization of the programs administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, reasserts the value of libraries and museums in the cultural fabric and creates an opportunity for political leaders to put a stake in the ground for these vital institutions.

Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 Introduced in Senate

The Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate on December 21 by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bipartisan bill, S. 2271, reauthorizes the core programs administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): the Museum Services Act and the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA), which provides more than $183 million in funding through the Grants to States program; National Leadership Grants for Libraries; the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program; and Native American Library Services. The agency has been a source of support for public, academic, research, special, and tribal libraries, as well as some 35,000 museums.

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.