ADVOCACY URGENTLY NEEDED: House considering two amendments critical to the future of libraries

This week, the House of Representatives will consider two amendments to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution that are critical to libraries — one that would eliminate all Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and another that would halt all funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens.

E-mail via Capwiz or call your representative at (202) 224-3121 today and tell him or her to oppose Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution!

Amendment #35, submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ), seeks to zero out the Institute of Museum and Library Services, eliminating all federal funding specifically for libraries.

Message to Your Representative:

  • 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.

E-mail via Capwiz or call your representative at (202) 224-3121 today and tell him or her to support Conyers’ amendment to the Continuing Resolution!

This amendment, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), would halt all funding for FISA orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens.  Currently, this vote is scheduled for this Thursday, February 17.  

Message to Your Representative:

  • Vote YES on the Conyers amendment to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution to halt funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders that would seek library and bookstore records of U.S. citizens;
  • The Conyers amendment seeks to protect individual privacy and personal reading records from inappropriate access by law enforcement;
  • Like previous reader privacy bills, this amendment has bipartisan support;
  • Law enforcement access to the reading habits of individuals should be held to a higher legal standard in order to protect civil liberties and the right to read and access information.

In the weeks to come, extending your advocacy efforts to your senators as well as continuing to reach out to your representatives will be vitally important to protecting the future of libraries. Questions as well as reports and feedback from your calls and e-mails are welcomed.  Please contact Kristin Murphy or Lynne Bradley at the ALA Office of Government Relations, Washington Office.

About Jenni Terry

Jenni Terry was a press officer with the Washington Office.

6 comments

  1. Folks- will you *please* include bill numbers when posting things like this. Be specific- “continuing resolution” may do it in this case, but most of the time specific bill numbers aim the poor fuddled congresscreatures in the right direction.

  2. Message to Your Representative:

    * Vote YES on the Conyers amendment to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution to halt funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders that would seek library and bookstore records of U.S. citizens;
    * The Conyers amendment seeks to protect individual privacy and personal reading records from inappropriate access by law enforcement;
    * Like previous reader privacy bills, this amendment has bipartisan support;
    * Law enforcement access to the reading habits of individuals should be held to a higher legal standard in order to protect civil liberties and the right to read and access information.

  3. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The bill number for the House version of the FY2011 Continuing Resolution is H.R. 1.

    “Continuing Resolution” is the commonly used name given to a spending bill that provides funds for government operations for a short period of time until Congress and the President agree on an appropriations bill. When contacting Congressional offices, it is helpful to refer to it as the “CR” or “Continuing Resolution.”

    We will be attentive to this matter in the future and make certain to include specific bill numbers.

    -Jenni Terry, ALA WO press officer

  4. Let us not be short-sighted, sacrificing any portion of this integral resource, to the detriment of the future we all desire

  5. With regards to Amendment 35, my read of it is that there are no cuts proposed to the IMLS budget. If you look at the program cuts worksheet here http://appropriations.house.gov/_files/ProgramCutsFY2011ContinuingResolution.pdf you’ll see that the far right column is (-) for the IMLS, meaning that compared to the FY11 Request in the President’s budget, there is no change. If you look at the other numbers in those columns and then compare those to the program cuts list here: http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259&Month=2&Year=2011 you’ll see that those numbers do match and that the IMLS is not listed there. For example, you’ll see that on the spreadsheet the International Trade Administration is listed as (92.7)–that is Amendment 35 is proposing that ITA is reduced by 92.7 million; then reference the program cuts on the Appropriations Committee site and you’ll see they are claiming a $93 million reduction.

  6. Laura England-Biggsd

    Thanks, Prof – good to see you after all this time!
    And thanks to the folks at ALA for making it easy to promote library advocacy.

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