rss feed

Posts tagged: ALA

Legislative Success! Good Work, Everybody!

An update on LSTA funding from the ALA Washington Office blog District Dispatch…

“Good work, everybody! Because of ALA’s unprecedented grassroots efforts this week on amendment #35 to H.R. 1 (the Continuing Resolution to the FY2011 budget) was defeated! This victory for libraries is undoubtedly due to the strong grassroots efforts of librarians and library supporters all across the country.

As you recall, late Monday evening U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ-5) introduced an amendment that would eliminate all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) including funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the primary source of federal dollars to libraries.

Today, as the U.S. House of Representatives wraps up floor debate on HR 1, Rep. Garrett has made it clear to us that he is no longer “pushing” for a vote on his amendment. Once the House passes H.R. 1, – likely today or tomorrow – t e budget will be sent over to the Senate where they will have the opportunity to make amendments and vote on this year’s budget bill.”

Read more of the post here…

URGENT: LSTA funding at risk due to new amendment

Some of you may have heard that the President’s proposed federal budget calls for about a 10% cut in Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding, including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding. This is the major source of federal funding for libraries and is a huge part of the NH State Library’s budget, which along with many other things, pays for our electronic databases.

But what you may not have heard is that an amendment in the House to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution (Amendment #35, submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ)) seeks to completely eliminate all LSTA funding. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

What can you do about this? ALA recommends contacting your Representatives in Congress and urging them to oppose Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution, and remind them of the following:

  • Libraries are essential to every community, and federal funding is critical for ensuring library resources and services remain available to their constituents.
  • LSTA supports all kinds of libraries including school, academic, and public libraries.
  • Public libraries are the primary source of no-fee access to the Internet and are active in assisting the public with online job searches, e-government services, and lifelong learning.

More information is available on the ALA Washington Office blog, District Dispatch,

Feel free to contact me as well with questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them.

– Steve Butzel, ALA Councilor

Report from ALA Midwinter Conference

Hello from your ALA Councilor, Steve Butzel. As the New Hampshire Chapter Councilor on the ALA Council, I recently attended the 2011 ALA Midwinter Conference. Today I’d like to give you an update on the report councilors received from Roberta Stevens, President of ALA.

At the ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session, President Stevens provided a brief overview of her complete report to the Association.  In particular, she highlighted her presidential initiatives, which you can learn more about at her website, The first initiative she discussed was “Our Authors, Our Advocates”, which is an effort to enlist well-known and beloved authors to speak out for libraries through video and audio PSAs and quotes.  Authors who have participated to date include Laurie Halse Anderson, David Baldacci, Carmen Agra Deedy, Sharon Draper, Sara Paretsky, Scott Turow, and Mo Willems.  More have been contacted and are expected to confirm their participation.  Visit for more information.  

She next reviewed her Frontline Fundraising initiative.  This initiative will provide librarians with tools and skills needed at the local level to supplement their budget regardless of the size and type of library. An online toolkit will be launched in February and will provide information on developing a fundraising plan and online giving, establishing a planned giving program, and conducting an annual fund drive.  

Finally she reviewed the "Why I Need My Library" Contest for teens, which will be soft-launched in January. This contest is intended to use young people to communicate why libraries are needed now more than ever. The initiative takes immediate-past-President Camila Alire’s member-driven, grassroots advocacy and Jim Rettig’s experimentation with social networking a step further with the aim of adding to the arsenal techniques for frontline advocacy and engaging a new constituency in supporting libraries. The products will be short videos by children and young adults made available on YouTube and the ilovelibraries and @yourlibrary websites. The winners will identify either their school or local public library as the beneficiary of cash prizes for the best videos in the contest.

Overall, I was very impressed with President Stevens throughout the entire conference. She did an excellent job facilitating what can be contentious Council sessions, and proved herself to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about a wide range of ALA initiatives.

I’ll share more about the conference in future blog posts, but feel free to send me any questions you may have about the Midwinter Conference or about ALA in general. The more familiar I get with ALA’s numerous sections, roundtables, task forces and professional staff, the more I am impressed.

Steve Butzel, ALA Councilor, skbutzel at

Freedom of Information Day Conference

The 13th annual National Freedom of Information Day Conference will be held Wednesday, March 16, at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

American Library Association co-sponsors the Annual National Freedom of Information Day at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum with the First Amendment Center, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, OMB Watch, and The National Security Archive at George Washington University.

The conference includes the announcement by the ALA of recipients of its annual James Madison Award. The ALA presents the Madison award to individuals or groups that have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know.

The conference, a full day of panel discussions and presentations, begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. ET.

There is no charge to attend, but because there is somewhat limited space, participants must register individually in advance. To register for the 2011 conference, e-mail or telephone Ashlie Hampton of the First Amendment Center at, or 202-292-6288. When registering, please provide your name, title, affiliation and contact information.

Source: District Dispatch

Win $500 and an additional $500 for your library with the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

Here’s your chance to win $500 for your pocket and another $500 for your library!  YALSA members are eligible to apply for this award recognizing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults.  If you have created an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months before December 1st consider applying for the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens.  The MAE Award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.  The winner receives $500 and additional $500 for their library. 

Application forms can be downloaded at and emailed to Nichole Gilbert at by December 1. 

Not a member of YALSA?  It’s not too late to join.   Please note that it may take up to 2 months for new memberships to be fully processed.  New members should send a copy of their membership application with the grant application.

For questions, contact Bailey Ortiz at

Reward yourself for bringing young adults and books together and encouraging the development of life-long reading habits.  Apply today! 

2 NH Public Libraries Receive Funding from Recovery Act

Congratulations to the Richards Free Library (Newport, NH) and the Hinsdale Public Library upon receiving funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to yesterday’s news release from the USDA, The Richards Free Library will receive $5,600 to purchase and install an internet fiber connection in the library, and Hinsdale will receive $9,600 to purchase computers and software to automate library functions, allowing for barcoding capabilities for book inventory. Wow!

The $15 million in Recovery Act funding announced yesterday is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program. It will be combined with $10.2 million from other sources. Altogether, 190 libraries across the country have benefited from Recovery Act funding. For a complete list of the library projects funded by USDA, click here.

ALA Will Protest Book Burning with 9/11 Qur’an Reading

Fighting Fire with Free Speech: ALA Will Protest Book Burning with 9/11 Qur’an Reading

"Book burning is the most insidious form of book banning, and just as the American Library Association is preparing to celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, along comes one Rev. Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. The good reverend’s idea of world outreach is to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 with a public burning of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book…

Whether or not the Rev. Jones (who is no relation to ALA’s OIF director) proceeds with his plan, librarians and library advocates will assemble on the steps of the American Library Association headquarters in Chicago this Saturday at 1 p.m. for a public reading from the Qur’an to counteract the burning in Gainesville, and Banned Books Week will launch on September 25 with readings from the Qur’an.

“The librarians of America will not stand by and let ignorance rule,” says ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “For every would-be book burner, there are thousands of readers who will speak out for the freedom to peaceably assemble and read whatever they choose."

Another reason to be proud to be a librarian, and a member of ALA…

Video from Library Advocacy Rally at ALA

Here’s a video clip from the Library Advocacy Rally down in Washington, DC on June 29th. Over 1,600 ALA members and advocates of all ages braved the 90-degree heat to take part in the largest federal advocacy event in ALA history.

At the rally, ALA President Alire emphasized the main themes of the advocacy day including increasing Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding to $300 million for FY2011 and including support for school librarians in the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Pumping up the crowd for their meetings on the Hill following the rally, she led the group with the rally cry, “We’re going to tell them!”

Library Advocacy Day Rally from ALA Washington on Vimeo.

Libraries are winners in new BTOP and BIP awards

From ALA Dispatch

Libraries were well represented in the 66 BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) and BIP (Broadband Initiatives Program) awards that the White House announced today.  Several libraries were named as grantees, and a number of the awards include libraries as key components of the projects.  

“It is tremendously satisfying to see libraries receive badly needed support for improving their broadband connectivity,” said Dr. Alan Inouye, director of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).  “ALA and others invested a lot in advocacy and education for the library community in the past year, and we’re pleased that our efforts helped to lead to a beneficial outcome for the library community.

Download a PDF of the Broadband Award Roster which includes the University System of New Hampshire, see below.

"The University System of New Hampshire will receive $44.5 million and estimates it will directly create almost 700 jobs by making broadband service more readily available to the state’s households and businesses. Almost 1 million people and approximately 12,000 local businesses and 700 community institutions stand to benefit from up to 10 Gbps as well as dark fiber IRUs. Partners seek to use this opportunity to create a "tech corridor" in New Hampshire."

First report on ALA Council at ALA Annual

This is the first of what I hope will be a couple of reports about my time down in DC as NH’s Chapter Councilor at ALA Annual. Rather than try to walk you through every resolution and discussion item that was brought before the Council, I’ll try to highlight some of the more interesting or controversial topics. If you would like more details, feel free to contact me, skbutzel (at) cityofportsmouth (dot) com.

Equal access to library services for all regardless of immigration status

Perhaps the most passionately discussed resolution was offered by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking. (REFORMA is an affiliate of ALA.) Their resolution urged Congress to enact comprehensive immigration legislation reform that would ensure equal access to library services for all, regardless of immigration status. 

As their councilor explained, REFORMA was concerned about Arizona’s law S.B. 1070 and how it would impact libraries. In particular, they were concerned that librarians at those public libraries which are part of city governments might be required to ask patrons or visitors to prove their U.S. citizenship before they would be granted a library card or perhaps receive library services. They also expressed concern that members of their communities are not going to public libraries or other public places as often for fear of being confronted by public officials and potentially arrested.

In a Council discussion forum, councilors from across the country reported legislative efforts in their states similar to the one that produced S.B. 1070 in Arizona. The clear message was that these issues are not limited to librarians in Arizona or even border states.

While some councilors wanted to refine the language of the resolution, the resolution was voted on and passed.

Other resolutions that passed

  • To increase funding for the “Improving Literacy through School Libraries” program to $100 million
  • To include school librarians in the re-authorization of the elementary and secondary education act
  • To ensure equitable access to all formats of electronic content through libraries/equal access to 21st century communications (more details to follow on this one)
  • To increase the composition of the conference committee to include a representative from the Accessibility Assembly
  • To establish a retired members roundtable
  • To ensure non-discrimination in ALA conference contracts, (added transgendered persons as an additional criteria)
  • To support a joint digital pilot project by the Library of Congress and the Government Publishing Office