Washington E-Bulletin – August 2016

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