A Look Ahead
AALL Advocates for Law Library Of Congress in Response to Library Realignment
On May 3, 2018, AALL wrote to Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to raise concerns about the impact of the Library’s Special Announcement 18-5 “User-Centered Realignment” on the Law Library of Congress. The Special Announcement was shared with Library of Congress staff, including Law Library staff, on April 12. The realignment repositions the Law Library of Congress from a stand-alone service unit to a subunit under a new Library Collections and Services Group (LCSG). The plan raises questions about the independence of the Law Library under the new structure.
Senate Votes to Restore Net Neutrality; Will House Follow?
On May 16, the Senate voted 52-47 in favor of the Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval (S.J.Res.52) that would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) unpopular 2017 repeal of net neutrality protections. The resolution would restore net neutrality and prevent the rule change from taking effect on June 11.
Join the New AALL Advocates Community
The new AALL Advocates Community keeps members in the know on the latest federal and state policy news with weekly updates from the Government Relations Committee and timely action alerts from the Government Relations Office. This new community replaces AALL’s Advocacy Listserv, which was retired on April 27, 2018.
Mark Your Calendars for Advocacy Leadership in Baltimore
Be sure to save room on your Annual Meeting schedule for AALL’s advocacy training, Advocacy Leadership: Law Librarians Ignite Change (C7) on Sunday, July 15, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. You’ll learn how to use your knowledge, passion, and research skills to combat attempts to erode freedom of information, net neutrality, privacy, and access to justice. You’ll also have an opportunity to join AALL’s Advocacy Team, a network of law librarians who are committed to championing legal information. This year’s program will be preceded by the AALL Public Policy Update, which will inform participants about the Association’s legislative priorities and activities.
AALL in the States
LLAW Opposes Legislative Reference Bureau Library Cuts
Submitted by Diane Duffey, Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin Government Relations Committee Chair
The Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW) is making an effort to advocate for protecting library services at Wisconsin’s Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB). The LRB is required by state statute to collect, maintain and make available legislative and government information to not only Wisconsin legislators but “citizens generally.” Recently, the positions of two LRB librarians were eliminated. LLAW is urging its members to contact their State representatives, and will be sending letters to various officials and a local newspaper which reported on the job cuts.
California Chapters Advocate for County Law Libraries
Submitted by Rachel Green, San Diego Area Law Libraries Government Relations Committee Chair
Government Relations Committee (GRC) Chairs David McFadden (Southern California Association of Law Libraries), Judy Janes (Northern California Association of Law Libraries), and Rachel Green (San Diego Area Law Libraries) have been working together to urge the State of California to provide permanent funding for the state’s county law libraries. Until now, county law library budgets have relied on a portion of civil filing fee revenue from the courts, an amount that decreased nearly 40 percent between 2009 and 2017. On behalf of their memberships, the GRC chairs submitted letters signed by all three chapters’ presidents to Governor Brown and to state legislators, advocating for a permanent budget appropriation in the 2018 state budget. While the governor did not include such funding in his “May Revise” (an update to the annual budget), the state legislature has moved forward with an allocation in its latest state budget bill, which multiple budget committees have now approved. The GRC chairs are continuing to work together and with their memberships to advocate for this very crucial support of California’s county law libraries.
MALL Supports FDLP Modernization Act
The Minnesota Association of Law Libraries (MALL) wrote to U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in support of the FDLP Modernization Act (H.R. 5305). AALL thanks MALL for its support.
Roundup and Review
- AALL urged the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to advance the FDLP Modernization Act (H.R. 5305)
- The House Committee on Appropriations approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Branch funding bill, including a $40 million increase for the Library of Congress and the requested level of funding for the Government Publishing