Washington eBulletin – May 2017

A LOOK AHEAD
What to Expect on Net Neutrality
ACT NOW
Mark Your Calendars – Advocacy Leadership Session in Austin
Virtual Lobby Day – Thank You!
AALL IN THE STATES
Sixteen UELMA Enactments
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2017 Issue 05

A Look Ahead

What to Expect on Net Neutrality

Federal Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai has followed through on his stated commitment to roll back the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order protecting net neutrality, laying out his plans in a speech last month titled “The Future of Internet Freedom“. In his speech, delivered at the Newseum in Washington, DC, Chairman Pai described his intention to return to what he called the “light-touch” regulatory framework for the internet. Unfortunately, this means dismantling the legal foundations of net neutrality found in Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

On April 27, the FCC released its public draft of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on “Restoring Internet Freedom” (WC Docket No. 17-108)”. The NRPM seeks comment on whether it should keep, modify, or eliminate the three bright-line rules of no blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization deals, and proposes giving authority to the Federal Trade Commission to police the privacy practices of internet service providers. The FCC will vote on the NPRM at its May 18 meeting.

It’s unclear how the FCC will be able to make these changes under Title II of the Communications Act, as it did under the Open Internet Order. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2015 Order last June, and rejected a request earlier this week to reconsider its decision.

AALL published a press release on April 27, stating our opposition to the Chairman’s proposal. AALL President Ronald E. Wheeler Jr. said, “Without net neutrality, law libraries may be unable to provide equal access to the legal information their users need. We oppose efforts by the new FCC chairman to roll back the Open Internet Order, and we will continue to work to protect an open internet. Without free and fair access to information, there is no access to justice.”

Many AALL members contacted their members of Congress on AALL’s Virtual Lobby Day to urge their lawmakers to protect the Open Internet Order. If you haven’t yet spoken out, you can still take action through our Action Center. For more information, see our our policy page on net neutrality.

Act Now

Mark Your Calendars – Advocacy Leadership Session in Austin

Mark your calendars for AALL’s advocacy training in Austin, Advocacy Leadership: Skills for Influence and Action, which will be held on Tuesday, July 18 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Recent threats to access to government information, open government, and privacy–including debates over the Copyright Office and net neutrality–have highlighted the importance of law librarian advocacy like never before. AALL’s advocacy training will familiarize you with the issues at the top of our public policy agenda and assist you in developing the skills you need to influence policymakers at the federal and state levels.

You’ll hear from experienced AALL advocates who will answer your questions about influencing pro-law library policies, and you’ll have the opportunity to write to your members of Congress on our most urgent issues. For the first time since its inception, the advocacy training is being held during regular conference programming. Advance registration for the session is NOT required.

Virtual Lobby Day – Thank You!

Thanks to the participation of many of you, our Virtual Lobby Day on April 26 was a success. AALL members sent hundreds of emails to Capitol Hill in support of our top priorities. The most popular action alert was in support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, followed by funding for the Legal Services Corporation and net neutrality. If you were unable to participate in our Lobby Day, there’s still time to take action; visit our Action Center to write to your members of Congress in support of these important issues that impact the profession and the public.

AALL in the States

Sixteen UELMA Enactments

We’re pleased to report that the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) has become law in Washington, bringing the total number of enactments to 16. Many thanks go to our advocates Anna Endter and Peggy Jarrett, who, with the support of the Law Librarians of Puget Sound and the Western Pacific chapter of AALL, worked tirelessly to get UELMA over the finish line in Washington.


Roundup and Review

  • AALL wrote in support of the OPEN Data Act, which would establish a comprehensive policy across the federal government to ensure that government data is accessible to the public by default.
  • We wrote to Congress in support of public access to CRS reports. We expect this issue to come up during the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch’s hearing on funding for the Library of Congress on May 3.
  • We were disappointed that the House voted on April 26 to approve the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 1695), which makes the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. AALL urges the Senate to reject the measure.

Washington eBulletin – April 2017

A LOOK AHEAD
Will Congress Risk a Government Shutdown?
House Judiciary Committee Moves Forward with Copyright “Reform”
ACT NOW
Register for AALL’s Online Advocacy Training & Virtual Lobby Day
AALL IN THE STATES
UELMA Success
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2017 Issue 04

A Look Ahead

Will Congress Risk a Government Shutdown?

Congress must act before the end of the month or risk a government shutdown when Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 funding runs out on April 28, 2017. Democrats have said they won’t approve the funding bill if it includes money for a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico or provisions to defund Planned Parenthood.

Assuming Congress does approve a Continuing Resolution for FY 2017, the Appropriations Committees will be able to focus more fully on funding for Fiscal Year 2018. AALL opposes the President’s Budget Blueprint, which proposes eliminating funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Legal Services Corporation. AALL is instead urging Congress to approve the budget requests of these agencies. Learn more about AALL’s position in our new advocacy one-pagers.

As the FY 2018 appropriations process moves forward, we will also be advocating for full funding for the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress. You can help support funding for these agencies by participating in our upcoming Virtual Lobby Day on April 26, when AALL members will raise their voices in support of the public policy issues that affect law libraries. Mark your calendars, and see “Act Now” below to learn how you can get involved.

House Judiciary Committee Moves Forward with Copyright “Reform”

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee have introduced a bill to significantly change the way the Register of Copyrights is selected. H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. AALL opposes the bill because we believe it is unnecessary and would create management conflicts within the Library of Congress.

Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill, as amended, on March 29, 2017 and it’s likely to receive floor consideration soon. The amendment adopted by the Committee, offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.), would create a panel of the Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, House and Senate majority and minority leaders, and the Librarian of Congress that would recommend three individuals to the President for consideration for the Register position. Learn more about AALL’s views on Copyright Office modernization efforts in our advocacy one-pager.

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee have introduced a bill to significantly change the way the Register of Copyrights is selected. H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. AALL opposes the bill because we believe it is unnecessary and would create management conflicts within the Library of Congress.

Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill, as amended, on March 29, 2017 and it’s likely to receive floor consideration soon. The amendment adopted by the Committee, offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.), would create a panel of the Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, House and Senate majority and minority leaders, and the Librarian of Congress that would recommend three individuals to the President for consideration for the Register position. Learn more about AALL’s views on Copyright Office modernization efforts in our advocacy one-pager.

Act Now

Register for AALL’s Online Advocacy Training & Virtual Lobby Day

Register to attend AALL’s online advocacy training on April 20, 2017, where you’ll learn the most effective ways to influence your members of Congress and cut through the noise on Capitol Hill. You will also hear about AALL’s top policy priorities, including funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Legal Services Corporation, copyright reform, and email privacy.

Then, mark your calendars for AALL’s Virtual Lobby Day on April 26, where you can help raise the profile of law libraries and AALL’s important policy issues by sending coordinated messages to Capitol Hill through our Legislative Action Center and social media. If you fill out our Lobby Day survey before April 17, we’ll send you personalized tips and information to help maximize your influence.

AALL in the States

UELMA Success

UELMA passed the Maryland and West Virginia legislatures and is awaiting signature by the governors of those states. A big thank you goes to our advocates, including Steve Anderson, Joan Bellistri, Mary Jo Lazun, Chi Song, and Stacy Etheredge, who helped shepherd the bill through the legislative process. We also thank the Uniform Law Commissioners in Maryland and West Virginia for their leadership, and to the Uniform Law Commission staff for their assistance.

Roundup and Review  

Washington eBulletin – March 2017

A LOOK AHEAD
Congress Gets to Work
AALL IN THE STATES
AALL Members Support UELMA Introductions
Update from LLNE: New Maine Law and Legislative Digital Library
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2017 Issue 03

A Look Ahead

Congress Gets to Work

It’s been a busy month on Capitol Hill, with Congressional committees finding time between a hectic nomination schedule to hold hearings and votes on issues of importance to AALL.

On February 6, 2017, the House approved the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387) by unanimous consent, sending the electronic communications privacy bill to the Senate for consideration. On February 14, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held a hearing on “Judicial Transparency and Ethics,” during which Professor Thomas Bruce of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute testified on public access to PACER.

We’ve been working with our allies and Congressional staff to pursue a variety of avenues to improve public access to federal court information, including encouraging Congress to work with the Judicial Conference of the United States to ensure that federal courts have complied with the transparency and privacy requirements of the E-Government Act of 2002 (P.L. 107- 347).

On February 6, 2017, the Committee on House Administration held a hearing on the priorities of the legislative branch agencies, including the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and Library of Congress. Members of the committee were supportive of the work of GPO and the Library of Congress, and the hearing provided an excellent opportunity for GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to discuss recent initiatives and goals.

In the coming weeks, we expect to see hearings and debate on Capitol Hill about network neutrality and broadband privacy, with the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission scheduled to testify next week before the Senate and House Commerce Committees. We also expect Congress to pass another continuing resolution for Fiscal Year 2017, before current federal government funding runs out on April 28, 2017. Agencies have begun preparing their Fiscal Year 2018 budget justifications, which they will submit to Congress. AALL is working to educate members of Congress about the importance of GPO and the Library of Congress, and we will be urging them to support the agencies’ budget requests. Stay tuned for future opportunities to contact your members of Congress in support of GPO and the Library.

AALL in the States

AALL Members Support UELMA Introductions

The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) has been introduced in six states this year: Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. In addition, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed UELMA on February 10, 2017, and it’s now undergoing mandatory Congressional review with a projected law date of April 7, 2017. AALL members are working diligently in each of these states to advocate for UELMA, and seeing progress toward enactment. Keep track of bill introductions through the Uniform Law Commission’s website and find UELMA advocacy resources on AALLNET.

Update from LLNE: New Maine Law and Legislative Digital Library

The Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) Government Relations Committee shared information about a new digital library at the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, the brainchild of Director John Barden. Maureen Quinlan, GRC’s Maine state representative, writes: “The library staff members have been digitizing bills, laws, legislative reports, and tying them all together in a wonderful Legislative History page for each public law, including relevant links to the legislative record.  It has made researching legislative history so easy and transparent.”

Roundup and Review  

  • AALL signed on to a joint letter to protect access to government information
  • The annual Sunshine Week is scheduled for March 12-17, 2017, with a public program planned at the National Archives and Records Administration featuring Archivist of the United States David Ferriero and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden

Washington eBulletin – February 2017

A LOOK AHEAD
Monitoring the New Congress and New Administration
ACT NOW
Join the AALL Advocacy Team
AALL IN THE STATES
2017 UELMA Introductions
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2017 Issue 02

A Look Ahead

Monitoring the New Congress and New Administration

The new Congress and new Administration are off to an inauspicious start on issues related to access to government information, open government, and privacy. During the past few weeks, AALL has been tracking a variety of troubling developments, including:

  • News reports that indicate there are gag orders on agency employees, preventing them from talking to the press and even Congressional offices
  • Changes at WhiteHouse.gov that, while expected and within the law, include the disappearance of pages for the Office of Management and Budget (including important information circulars like the recently updated A-130) and delays in posting of Executive Orders and other materials
  • The selection of Commissioner Ajit Pai, a vocal net neutrality critic, to lead the Federal Communications Commission
  • The confirmation hearings of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be Attorney General. AALL expressed dep concerns about the Senator’s privacy record in a letter to the Judiciary Committee

AALL is committed to advocating for access to government information, and our Government Relations Policy is clear: Accessible government information, including legal and legal-related information, is both an essential principle of a democratic society and a valuable public good created at taxpayer expense. As we wrote in our Statement on Access to Government Information, “AALL will continue to monitor information policy developments that hinder a transparent government, and we will speak out against threats to the public’s right to know.”

While the news from Washington has been generally dispiriting, there has been some good news as well. For example, Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.) and nine cosponsors recently reintroduced the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387), which would update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to more adequately protect the privacy of email, text messages, photos, and other information stored in the cloud. Among other things, the bill would end ECPA’s arbitrary “180-day rule,” which permits email communications to be obtained without a warrant after 180 days. We also anticipate opportunities in the coming months to support greater access to Congressional Research Service reports, legislative data, and other transparency and accountability measures. It won’t be easy, but with your help we can push back against policies that harm law libraries and library users. Read on to learn how you can get involved.

Act Now

Join the AALL Advocacy Team

Become a part of AALL’s network of law library advocates who have committed to speak out for the policy issues that impact the profession. Fill out our short Advocacy Team Survey to share some basic information about yourself and your policy interests; AALL will use the information you provide to build on our successful grassroots advocacy program. Thanks for all that you do!

AALL in the States

2017 UELMA Introductions

The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) has been introduced this year in Maryland, New York, Texas, and Washington. On January 19, 2017, AALL member Anna Endter testified before the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee on behalf of the Law Librarians of Puget Sound. On January 26, AALL past president Steve Anderson testified before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on behalf of AALL. Anderson was joined by Joan Bellistri and Mary Jo Lazun, who testified on behalf of Law Library Association of Maryland. We expect additional UELMA introductions in the coming weeks. Keep track of bill introductions through the Uniform Law Commission’s website and find UELMA advocacy resources on AALLNET.

Roundup and Review  

  • AALL submitted comments to the House Judiciary Committee in response to the Committee’s proposal to reform the Copyright Office. We also submitted a response to the Library of Congress’s survey on the qualifications of the next Register of Copyrights
  • We published an issue brief on the fair use case Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc.

Washington eBulletin – January 2017

A LOOK AHEAD
Advocacy in the New Year
ACT NOW
Join the AALL Advocacy Team
AALL IN THE STATES
Announcing AALL Chapter Collaboration: California Government Relations Committees’ Joint Effort

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2017 Issue 01

A Look Ahead

Advocacy in the New Year

As the 115th Congress begins, AALL is busy introducing the new Senators and Representatives to the Association and welcoming the returning members back to Washington, DC. We are sharing AALL’s public policy priorities with members of Congress and their staffs, educating them about the Association and the profession, and planning for advocacy opportunities in the coming year.

We are also eagerly awaiting complete announcements of Senate and House Committee assignments and chairmanships so that we can target the members on the committees of most importance to AALL. The Senate Republicans released their committee assignments on January 3, 2017; committee chairs will be selected by a vote of the members of each committee and then ratified by the Senate Republican Conference. The House Speaker’s Office announced its committee chair recommendations in December and the Republican Steering Committee met on January 4, 2017 to make key assignments. We’ll know final committee rosters and leadership in the coming days.

The Senate committees of most interest to AALL are Appropriations (funding for the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and Library of Congress (LC)), Judiciary (copyright, FOIA, Attorney General nomination), Rules (GPO and LC), Energy and Commerce (net neutrality), and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (National Archives and Office of the Federal Register). The House committees of particular interest to AALL are Appropriations, House Administration (GPO and LC), Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform (FOIA), and Commerce. We also track the work of the intelligence committees because of their work on surveillance and privacy issues.

One of the most important things you can do right now to prepare to advocate for law libraries in the new Congress is to get to know your elected officials and let us know of any personal connections you have with them. Read on for more information about how you can be a part of AALL’s Advocacy Team.

Act Now

Join the AALL Advocacy Team

Now is the time to get to know your member of Congress, including their background, key issues, and legislative priorities. Visit AALL’s Legislative Action Center to read their bios and link to their websites. Then follow them on social media and sign up for their newsletters to stay informed about their policy priorities and learn about opportunities for making your voice heard via in-district meetings, town halls, online surveys, or phone calls.

Already know your member of Congress? Perhaps you went to law school with one of your members, or know them or their family through community activities. If so, please let us know! AALL’s Advocacy Team Survey asks about any relationships you have with your members of Congress, your policy areas of interest, and on what issues you’d like to get more involved. We keep this information confidential and work with you to help use your connections to the best advantage. These “grasstops” connections are key to influencing members of Congress in support of our issues. Thanks in advance for helping AALL create a strong advocacy network!

AALL in the States

Announcing AALL Chapter Collaboration: California Government Relations Committees’ Joint Effort

The Government Relation Committees (GRCs) of the Northern California Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL), Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL), and San Diego Area Law Libraries (SANDALL), the three California chapters of AALL, have agreed to formalize the coordination of advocacy efforts for monitoring and mounting letter campaigns regarding pending legislation, state or federal, that affects access and dissemination of public information. Judy Janes of NOCALL, Vance Sharp of SANDALL and David McFadden of SCALL – the chairs of the three Government Relation Committees – have agreed to join forces when issues arise that necessitate, or make stronger, a joint advocacy effort.

NOCALL and SCALL, later joined by SANDALL after its formation as a chapter, have worked cooperatively in advocacy since at least the 1990’s. Passage of a bill insuring the retention of legislative and rulemaking files in 1996 and later enactment of UELMA in 2012 are two examples.

Planning for the AALL California Chapter Government Committees’ Collaboration statement began in spring 2016 with emails and regular phone conferences among the three chapter GRC chairs and California members of the AALL GRC committee. The chapter GRCs agreed to a flexible workflow for coordinating joint legislative advocacy efforts. Each chapter GRC brought the agreed workflow to his or her respective executive board for approval. A Google site for storing GRC committee resources and documents was established. The coordinated effort is meant to increase the depth and breadth of governmental advocacy when specific legislation affects the entire state. For efforts that relate to a specific location alone, individual chapter GRC efforts are still preferred. Sharing various legislative efforts at any governmental level ought to provide increased support for AALL’s Government Relations program and efforts.

We are announcing the California chapter collaboration in order to promote a model of regional partnership efforts for broadening our legislative reach. Anyone interested in accessing or viewing the CA GRC google site should contact Anna Russell. Feel free to reach out to any of the California GRC chairs as well for further details about setting up your own regional partnership.

Roundup and Review  

  • View the recording of the recent AALL online training, “Advocates and Influencers: How Law Librarians Can Impact the New Congress and New Administration”, on AALLNET
  • The video recordings, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations from the National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials are now on AALLNET

Washington eBulletin – December 2016

A LOOK AHEAD
AALL Priorities in the New Congress and New Administration
ACT NOW
Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Greater Access to Government Information
Register Now: Online Advocacy Training

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2016 Issue 12

A Look Ahead

AALL Priorities in the New Congress and New Administration

Election day has come and gone, and AALL has been busy analyzing the short- and long-term impact of the election results on law libraries and preparing for the next four years under the new administration. While the makeup of Congress did not change dramatically, the incoming Trump administration has suggested major shifts in policy direction on a number of issues of importance to AALL, including net neutrality, government surveillance, and government transparency. In the coming days and months, AALL will proactively advocate for the policy issues that are core to the profession, including intellectual freedom, privacy, and freedom of information. 

On the day after the election, AALL released its Public Policy Priorities for the 115th Congress, clearly articulating our positions on access to justice, balance in copyright, greater access to government information, openness in government, and protection of privacy. New for this Congress is our express support for access to government data in open and machine-readable formats, an effort that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) strongly backs, as well as language on the importance of oversight of cybersecurity programs and updates to section 1201 of the Copyright Act. AALL will use this Priorities document to advocate for our members and for the essential role of law librarians in a democratic society.

As we transition to a new Congress and administration, it is essential that AALL members become effective advocates for themselves and the profession. Please read on to learn how you can get involved.

Act Now

Register Now: Online Advocacy Training

Register for AALL’s upcoming online advocacy training, “Advocates and Influencers: How Law Librarians Can Impact the New Congress and New Administration,” which will be held on Tuesday, December 13 at 11 a.m. (CST). Learn what to expect from the political landscape of 2017, how you can help promote AALL’s policy priorities, and what strategic opportunities will raise your profile to decision makers at the federal level. Registration ends Monday, December 12.

Roundup and Review  

  • AALL wrote to Congressional leadership to support the Review the Rule Act, S. 3475 and H.R.6341, which would delay the implementation of changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 41 impacts the government’s ability to conduct remote access searches of electronic storage devices. Unfortunately, the bills did not pass and the changes go into effect today, December 1, 2016.
  • We signed on to statements to the Presidential Transition Teams in support of classification reform.
  • The Copyright Office announced the adoption of a final rule to govern the designation and maintenance of DMCA agent information under a new electronic system. Website owners must re-register. 

Washington eBulletin – November 2016

A LOOK AHEAD
Changes at the Copyright Office
After the Election
ACT NOW
Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Greater Access to Government Information
Register for the National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2016 Issue 11

A Look Ahead

Changes at the Copyright Office

On Friday, October 21, 2016, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced leadership changes at the Library of Congress with the appointment of Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante as senior advisor for digital strategy and Karyn Temple Claggett as acting register. The following week, Register Pallante submitted her letter of resignation to Dr. Hayden, declining to take the new position. The Library of Congress has indicated that it will conduct a national search for the next register.

The search for a new head of the Copyright Office comes at an especially important time; the Office is in the midst of several policy studies and Congress is considering a major overhaul of copyright law. The most recent study is of section 1201 of the Copyright Act, for which AALL submitted comments last week. Our comments urged the Copyright Office to consider recommending to Congress a new permanent exemption for the circumvention of malfunctioning, damaged, and obsolete technological protection measures, and a permanent exemption for the blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. We also suggested that Congress consider adopting language attaching liability for circumvention only in cases where the circumvention facilitates copyright infringement. AALL fully expects that, despite leadership changes, the Copyright Office will continue its important policy studies, including those on 1201 and section 108 (the library exception).

It also seems likely that some members of Congress will continue to explore the possibility of moving the Copyright Office out of the Library of Congress, a change that Register Pallante had ardently supported. AALL opposes such a move, and we will continue to work with members of Congress to ensure that the Copyright Office continues to reside in the Library.

After the Election

Stay tuned for the December issue of the Washington eBulletin, which will offer a post-mortem analysis of what the election results mean for law libraries, and how AALL and our members can best leverage our collective knowledge to affect the development of public policy in the next Congress and with the new administration. And register now for AALL’s upcoming online advocacy training, “Advocates and Influencers: How Law Librarians Can Impact the New Congress and New Administration” on December 13 at 11 a.m. (CST) to prepare you for the new Congress. Registration is free for AALL members and chapter members.

Act Now

Register for the National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials

AALL and Boston University School of Law are pleased to host a special conference on the copyright of state legal materials on December 2, 2016, at BU Law. The conference will feature keynote speaker Corynne McSherry, lunch speaker Sarah Jeong, and a full slate of copyright experts on three panels: legal status, operational issues, and advocacy and inspiration. Registration is $75�. Register now to secure your spot.

Roundup and Review  

  • AALL celebrated the FCC’s vote to protect the privacy of internet users
  • Recordings and handouts from the 2016 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference are now available
  • What’s the impact of secret law on our democracy? The Brennan Center reports  

Washington eBulletin – October 2016

A LOOK AHEAD
As Congress Leaves Town, Attention Turns Away from Capitol Hill
ACT NOW
Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Greater Access to Government Information
Registration Open for National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials

AALL IN THE STATES
UELMA Advocacy in 2017
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2016 Issue 10

A Look Ahead

As Congress Leaves Town, Attention Turns Away from Capitol Hill

Congress left Washington last week after passing a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. The funding package keeps the government running only until December 9, forcing both chambers to once again reach an agreement to fund agencies through FY 2017 when they return in mid-November. Without time to pass the 11 remaining appropriations bills during the lame duck session, it’s likely we’ll see a fight over whether to pass a full omnibus or a series of smaller measures, referred to as minibuses. The latter provides an opportunity for greater input from members of Congress and closer examination of each spending measure, but also opens up the possibility of more policy riders and further delays. 

While Congress is out, we’ll turn some of our attention away from Capitol Hill to the Library of Congress, Government Publishing Office (GPO), and Copyright Office. We’re eagerly following Dr. Carla D. Hayden’s first few months as the new Librarian of Congress, and are ready to learn more about her leadership style and plans for transforming the Library. Later this month, we’ll attend GPO’s Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference, where we look forward to hearing the latest about the implementation of the Regional Discard Policy, including whether GPO has identified enough preservation stewards to allow regional depository libraries to begin discarding certain titles. We’ll also draft a response to the Copyright Office’s new request for additional comments on its Section 1201 Study [81 F.R. 66296, Docket No. 2015-8]. The new notice of inquiry asks for feedback on proposed new permanent exemptions for facilitating access to electronic works by those who are blind, visually impaired, or print-disabled and to allow circumvention of certain access control technologies. AALL previously submitted comments in response to the Copyright Office’s Section 1201 study in February 2016.

Act Now

Register for the National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials

AALL and Boston University School of Law are pleased to host a special conference on the copyright of state legal materials on December 2, 2016 at BU Law. Join keynote speaker Corynne McSherry, your colleagues and other experts in the field for a day-long event on this timely and important topic. Registration is $75- register now to secure your spot.

AALL in the States

UELMA Advocacy for 2017

Uniform law commissioners in more than a dozen states have included the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) on their legislative enactment plans for 2017. AALL members and chapters are now organizing to advocate for UELMA next year. If you’d like to get involved, please contact Emily Feltren, director of government relations, at efeltren@aall.org.

Roundup and Review  

  • The annual Law Librarian and Friends Dinner during Federal Depository Library Conference will be held Monday, October 17. Look for an email from Larry Meyer with additional details and/or contact him
  • PACER class action claiming systematic overcharging for court records proceeds
  • The Marrakesh Treaty (aka “books for the blind”) entered into force on September 30, 2016

Washington E-Bulletin – September 2016

A LOOK AHEAD
Congress Readies to Return to Capitol Hill
ACT NOW
Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Greater Access to Government Information
Registration Open for National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials

AALL IN THE STATES
UELMA Advocacy in 2017
CALL Presents Legislator of the Year Award to Congressman Quigley
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2016 Issue 9

A Look Ahead

Congress Readies to Returns to Capitol Hill 

Members of the House and Senate return to Washington next week, following seven weeks away from Capitol Hill. One of the top items on their “must do” list is approving an appropriations package to keep the government funded past September 30. As we reported last month, it looks likely that Congress will pass at least a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government funded at Fiscal Year 2016 levels, avoiding a politically damaging government shutdown. 

Members of Congress will once again hit the campaign trail in October, leaving us with a brief window to advocate for AALL’s policy priorities. In the next few weeks, AALL will focus our federal advocacy efforts on gaining support for the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 5876) and the Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act of 2016 (H.R. 4702/S. 2639), which require greater access to government reports through the Government Publishing Office’s FDsys/govinfo. You can help increase the support on Capitol Hill for these bills by urging your members of Congress to add their names as cosponsors – see “Act Now” below. AALL will also continue to advocate for a balance in copyright law, including protection of Section 108, and against major changes to the structure of the Copyright Office, including opposition to the CODE Act (H.R. 4241). To help AALL members stay informed about copyright issues, AALL’s Copyright Committee posts regular updates to its blog

Act Now

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Greater Access to Government Information

Your members of Congress need to hear from you in support of the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 5876) and the Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports (H.R. 4702/S. 2639). Please take a few minutes to write to your representative and Senators to urge them to cosponsor these bills. 

Registration Open for National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials

AALL and Boston University School of Law are pleased to host a special conference on the copyright of state legal materials on December 2, 2016 at BU Law. Join your colleagues and other experts in the field for a day-long event on this timely and important topic. Registration is $75- register now to secure your spot.

AALL in the States

UELMA Advocacy for 2017

Uniform law commissioners in more than a dozen states have included the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) on their legislative enactment plans for 2017. AALL members and chapters are now organizing to advocate for UELMA next year. If you’d like to get involved, please contact Emily Feltren, director of government relations, at efeltren@aall.org.

CALL Presents Legislator of the Year Award to Congressman Quigley

The Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL) presented its Legislator of the Year Award to Representative Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) in his district office in Chicago. The award honors the Congressman’s work on open government and transparency issues, including access to Congressional Research Service reports and the Freedom of Information Act.

Roundup and Review  

Washington E-Bulletin – August 2016

A LOOK AHEAD
Campaign Season Kicks into High Gear While Work in Washington Continues
ACT NOW
Thank Your Senators for Confirming Dr. Hayden
Reminder: Share Your Reactions to Office of Law Revision Counsel Proposal to Eliminate Print Annual Supplements to U.S. Code

AALL IN THE STATES
HALL, SWALL and LLAM Speak Out in Support of Dr. Hayden
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

Vol. 2016 Issue 8

A Look Ahead

Campaign Season Kicks into High Gear While Work in Washington Continues

Members of Congress have returned home to campaign before the November elections, leaving Washington for an extended summer recess. When Congress returns after Labor Day, both chambers will be faced with the urgent task of funding federal agencies for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which begins October 1. At this point, it looks likely that Congress will pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded at FY 2016 levels past September 30, because neither party wants to face a possible government shutdown during an election year.

Summer recess may leave the halls of Congress less noisy than usual, but plenty of action continues off of Capitol Hill. At the White House, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its long-awaited update to Circular A-130, which establishes policies for the management of Federal information resources. The updated circular, now titled “Managing Information as a Strategic Resource,” incorporates some of the suggestions AALL made in comments to OMB last December. We are pleased that OMB reinserted language making clear that federal agencies “shall protect the public’s right of access to Federal information,” and added more references to preservation. Unfortunately, the policy does not go far enough in addressing information life cycle concerns. AALL will continue to work with the White House, Congress, the Government Publishing Office (GPO), Library of Congress, and National Archives and Records Administration to ensure that legal and government information is trustworthy, complete, and preserved for permanent public access.

Meanwhile, implementation of GPO’s regional discard policy moves forward, with recent acceleration of the implementation schedule allowing regional libraries the ability to discard items beginning in September. AALL is concerned that recent changes to the Federal Depository Library Program will put more burden on law libraries to preserve and continue to provide access to federal government information in print. If you’re interested in learning more about these changes, please consider participating in GPO’s August 23 webinar,”Implementing the Regional Discard Policy: Updates and Q&A“.  

Act Now

Thank Your Senators for Confirming Dr. Hayden

AALL eagerly awaits the swearing-in ceremony of new Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden. As we look forward to welcoming Dr. Hayden into her new role, please take a moment to thank your Senators for voting in favor of her nomination. If you don’t know how your Senators voted, check the roll call vote.

Reminder: Share Your Reactions to Office of Law Revision Counsel Proposal to Eliminate Print Annual Supplements to U.S. Code

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel (OLRC) is considering eliminating the print cumulative annual supplements to the United States Code. AALL is collecting feedback from members about the proposal to share with the OLRC. Please let us know whether the elimination of the print supplements would impact your library users.

AALL in the States

HALL, SWALL and LLAM Speak Out in Support of Dr. Hayden

After AALL heard last month that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was considering putting a hold on the Hayden nomination, the Houston Area Law Librarians (HALL) and the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries (SWALL) acted quickly to urge Senators Cruz and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to allow the nomination to go to a vote before the summer recess. Thank you to HALL and SWALL for taking action to support our new Librarian of Congress! In addition, the Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM) released a statement expressing pride in their own Maryland librarian becoming the new Librarian of Congress.

Roundup and Review  

  • AALL met with the Copyright Office regarding our priorities for Section 108 reform
  • What’s next for net neutrality? Find out during an upcoming livestreamed event from TechFreedom, George Washington Institute of Public Policy, and the Open Technology Institute on August 2