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2013 ACRL Legislative Agenda

The ACRL Update announced the 2013 ACRL Legislative Agenda today. It:

focuses on three issues that the U.S. Congress has recently taken, or will most likely take, action on in the year ahead: first sale doctrine, public access to federally funded research, and federal funding for libraries. New this year, the agenda includes a watch list of policy issues of great concern to academic librarians. Legislation on these issues is not likely to arise and, moreover, ACRL does not believe that any legislation about these issues is necessary. Issues on the watch list are: government information, safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, orphan works/section 108, and fair use. ACRL will continue tracking these issues and advocate for the best interests of academic and research libraries, if necessary.

The announcement also reminds members to advocate for libraries by contacting their representatives in Congress in May as part of Virtual Library Legislative Day. There will be events during the week of May 6-10, 2013.


OLA support for HB 2944

This week, the OLA Legislative Committee voted to draft a letter of support to Rep. Jeff Barker, the Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary, regarding HB 2944, an Act Relating to Electronic Legal Material. This legislation will enact the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) and provide Oregon with a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensuring that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and made permanently available to the public in unaltered form.

Continue reading

OLA Legislative Day coming up F-A-S-T!

Edited 3/22/2013: Due to a conflict with a major gun rights rally at the Capitol, OLA’s Legislative day has been moved to Monday, April 8th.

April 4th is closer than you think.  *NOW* is the time to make appointments with your State Legislators for the Oregon Library Association’s Legislative Day, April 4, 2013.  You will have a better chance of getting an appointment if you do it right away instead of waiting until just before Legislative Day.

You do need to make your own appointments with the Legislators.  They prefer to make appointments with their own constituents so they need to hear directly from you.  I have found that calling them is the best way to make an appointment.  Usually they have very friendly staff who are very happy to set up the appointments.  I usually follow up with an email to the Legislator thanking them for agreeing to meet with us and include a short sentence about some of our concerns, including the State Library budget, Ready-to-Read, county law libraries, and intellectual freedom.  I don’t go into any detail in the email since we will do that during the appointment.

Go to http://olanetwork.wikispaces.com/OLA+Legislative+Day+Appointments and you will find a link to your Legislators contact information.  After you make the appointment please fill in the information on the form.

More information about the day may be found at

Legislative Day can be lots of fun and we will help you have some topics to discuss with your legislators. Nan Heim will be preparing a short issues brief that you may use.  You will find that just talking about Ready-to-Read and/or other things about the library services you provide will fill the time well.  You will seldom have more than 15 minutes with you. Legislators and they are great at talking themselves so the time goes fast.

Save the date: OLA Legislative Day

OLA’s Legislative Day will be Thursday April 4. Join your OLA colleagues at the State Capitol for a fun and informative day. Learn about library issues and how the Legislature works. Talk to your legislators and show them that people do care about our libraries. Details will be coming as the date approaches. The tentative schedule is:

8:00-2:30 Displays (Galleria)
8:00-4:00 Individual Appointments with legislators
9:00 Issue Briefing – State Library Room 102-103
11:30-1:30 Lunch (pay for your own) Goudy Commons, Willamette University

For more information

  • Check out the Legislative webpage with links to how to make appointments. http://olanetwork.wikispaces.com/OLA+Legislative+Day
  • Contact Diedre Conkling diedre08@gmail.com for assistance with making appointments.
  • Contact Sara Charlton charlton@co.tillamook.or.us or BJ Toewe bjtoewe@cityofsalem.net for more information on Legislative Day and how you can participate.

CRS Resolution Introduced in the House

From the District Dispatch, courtesy of Diedre Conkling:

Yesterday advances were made in improving transparency in the federal government. Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-5) and Leonard Lance (NJ-07) introduced the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Resolution of 2012 <http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.112hres727>(House Resolution 727), a resolution that creates a publicly available database of Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports and would thereby “enhance our democracy to provide citizens with access to unbiased and accurate CRS documents on legislation and other critical issues before Congress”.

This bipartisan resolution would provide public access to all CRS reports that do not contain confidential information (in some cases redactions could be made to allow portions of reports to be released). The resolution would provide access to those who fund this research -the public – at a price tag of $100 million a year.

The American Library Association commends Reps. Quigley and Lance, as well as the resolution’s co-sponsors; Reps. Jim Cooper (TN-5), Timothy V. Johnson (IL-15) and Adam B. Schiff (CA-29), for taking this important step to increasing transparency and improving access to publicly funded government information. The ALA strongly supports this resolution and will
work towards its passage.


Pacific University Open Access Resolution Passes

On December 8th, the University Council of Pacific University, a governance body composed of representatives from the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, the faculty and the staff and administration, voted unanimously in support of a resolution [PDF] that encourages more open and accessible scholarly practices.  The resolution had previously been approved by the Faculty Senate (November 2011).

Through its inclusion of student and staff voices, the University Council’s action represents a unique contribution to the growing number of statements and policies in support of open access to scholarship.

Updates from OLA Legislative Committee

The OLA Legislative Committee met earlier this week. Notes of interest include:

  1. As today’s news shows, the state just released its most recent revenue forecast this week:  http://oregon.gov/DAS/OEA/revenue.shtml.  State agencies were asked to plan for three tiers of cuts, from 3.5% to 10.5%.  For the state library, money is targeted to come out of salary savings (so, already taken care of) and the Ready to Read grant program (at the 7% and 10.5% tiers).  For Research Services, each cut results in some loss of FTE; if the 7% cut is made, the Reference Room will be closed.
  2. There will probably not be any legislation coming out of the recommendations from the Working Group on Libraries and Archives.
  3. The coming legislative session will be largely focused on the budget with very few bills introduced by committees and individual legislators.  There will not be an OLA legislative day.  Efforts will be focused on meeting with legislators in their home districts in January, followed by a later coordinated calling and emailing campaign.  Stay tuned for details.
  4. The county law libraries are working on negotiating a deal with EBSCO for electronic access to Nolo Press publications and are trying to figure out a way to make these resources available remotely, since the law libraries don’t issue library cards, so they need to figure out a way to authenticate users.

2011 Oregon Legislative Session Ends


Thanks to Flickr user noyava for use of this image

On Thursday, June 30th the Oregon Legislative Assembly adjourned its 2011 regular session. Interim meeting dates for the remainder of 2011 and 2012 haven’t yet been formalized, but a tentative calendar (pdf) of these dates has been published. If you want to find documents that were part of the 2011 regular session, you can do so in their publications archive.

So what did our state legislature accomplish during this session? The state Senate Democrats released their 2011 Accomplishments (pdf) was an interesting session and the Senate Republican Office offered a press release (pdf) with their version of accomplishments and work to continue.

This year the House of Representatives was evenly divided 30/30 with Republicans and Democrats. Co-Speaker of the House Arnie Roblan (D- Coos Bay) released a statement about the House accomplishments during the session.

The recap is pretty much that the parties worked together on health care issues, as well as tax and housing issues. Budget issues were, as always, contentious issues between state Republicans and Democrats

If you’re looking to find more detailed information about what happened, a great place to find what the parties and individuals are saying is by reading the State Legislature Press Releases.

Other news to note at this time, and of particular import to librarians, is the new and improved Oregon State Legislature Measure Search. Give it a whirl to see what you think. (Try looking for 2011 Senate Bill 41, which pertains to public records…)

We’ll see what any interim session holds in store for the state. In the meantime, keep looking to this blog for more information about state and federal legislative issues of interest to ACRL-Oregon.

Report on National Library Legislative Day, 2011

United States Capitol from Capitol Hill
In the beginning of May I had the opportunity to visit Washington, DC and participate in National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). What a great experience, not only to visit the warmth of the sun, but also to make legislative office visits and tell staff what matters to us and to library users in Oregon.

The title National Library Legislative Day is a bit misleading, because it’s not one day, but two! On Monday, May 9th the ALA Washington Office hosted a briefing day, wherein NLLD participants receive the most up to date information about what’s happening on the hill.

This year, the briefing day consisted mainly of presentations about the issues, but was prefaced by a fantastic presentation called Divided Congress: Surveying the Landscape of the 112th Congress. Panelists included the moderator, Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the ALA Washington Office; Vic Klatt, former Chief of staff for Representative John Boehner and current partner at Penn Hill Group; Danica Petroshius, former chief of staff for the late Senator Ted Kennedy and partner at Penn Hill Group. I found this panel to be most interesting, because panelist gave a great overview of what is happening in congress.

Namely, panelists discussed the “weird” place in which libraries find themselves in the 112th Congress. Petroshius stressed that since appropriations and other budgetary items are the biggest item, that none of the budget cuts seem to be backed by any philosophy, they are just about “political expediency.”  And to paraphrase Klatt, “No one will say anything bad about libraries” but the weird place for them is that they aren’t anyone one thing. They aren’t treated like education or like social services. Library advocates should “find a place for libraries in every bill that goes forward.” Essentially, libraries and library advocates need to frame arguments for libraries in every forum and every avenue possible. Just hearing this perspective from panelists was eye-opening to me.

Following the day of briefing, we were off to legislative office appointments on Tuesday. The team from Oregon divvied up the meetings so that we Oregonians visited every Oregon Representative’s and Senator’s office.

I had the pleasure of joining some team members to chat with an aides from Representative Walden’s office; Representative Blumenauer’s office, and Senator Wyden’s office.  For each of these visits the team concentrated on appropriations and funding, since that is what was currently the issue in Congress. We advocated to keep LSTA funding levels as promised, and provided information about what LSTA funds in the state. Team members were even successful in getting Representative Blumenauer to sign onto a “dear colleague letter” in support of LSTA funding!

Although funding was at the foremost of most everyone’s mind we also did discuss other issues pertaining to libraries. Privacy and surveillance had active legislation in the Senate while library advocates from all over were on the hill. Since then, President Obama has signed the legislation that extended the USA PATRIOT Act; against which library advocates were lobbying. The issue is that the USA PATRIOT Act extension does not provide the necessary privacy reforms that provide protection to library patrons. For more information about this issue, read more over at ALA’s District Dispatch.

There were many issue briefs in the packets we presented to legislators, but funding and privacy took the forefront during our visits. For a complete list of issues included in NLLD, take a peek at my previous blog post for links to issues and resources.

National Library Legislative Day is Tuesday, May 10th

Edited Uncle Sam I want you
That’s right, in less than a week library advocates from all over the country will flood Washington, DC to advocate for libraries and library issues. But it’s not just the people who travel to speak to their legislators who make a difference, it is all of us. On Tuesday, May 10th and even during the entire week from May 9th–13th, YOU can make your voice heard. Join the efforts and participate in the Virtual Library Legislative Day!

All you need to do is call or write your legislators. It is the power of many voices that make library issues resonate with our elected officials. We voted them into office and we can hold them accountable for representing our interests. Legislative Day will be a bigger success with your help.

Don’t know who are your legislators? Find out here!

Don’t know the issues? ACRL National has posted its current legislative agenda for your reading pleasure, and ALA has numerous download-able issue briefs on the National Library Legislative Day web page (scroll all the way to the bottom). It is not out of order to include issue briefs in your communications with legislators.

When you write or call your legislators, make it clear that you are a constituent and that these issues are important to you. If you have a personal story that supports an issue, include it! Invite your legislators to contact you with further questions, and lastly, thank them for their time.

I’ll be attending the event in Washington, DC with the other Oregon delegates. Please add your voice to our delegation and help us spread the message to support libraries and library issues!