Washington E-Bulletin – July 2016

Vol. 2016 Issue 7

A Look Ahead

With two weeks left before the summer Congressional recess begins, members of Congress are facing a very full agenda after the July 4 holiday. AALL is watching closely to see if the Senate acts to confirm Dr. Carla Hayden as Librarian of Congress, considers a bill (H.R. 699) to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or votes on Fiscal Year 2017 funding for the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress (S. 2955). We’re also taking a moment to celebrate yesterday’s signing of the FOIA Improvement Act (S. 337). The bill updates the Freedom of Information Act by codifying the “presumption of openness” established in President Barack Obama’s Open Government Memorandum, subsequent Open Government Directive, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s FOIA memorandum; requires that information be made available to the public in an electronic format; limits, to a period of 25 years, the ability of agencies to keep internal deliberations confidential; creates a centralized online portal for FOIA requests; and increases the effectiveness of the FOIA by strengthening the Office of Government Information Services. In conjunction with the signing, the White House announced new steps to make FOIA work better. 

There are many opportunities to learn more about these and many other policy issues at AALL’s Annual Meeting. The following events, hosted by the Government Relations Office, will help you hone your advocacy skills and learn the latest about the top policy issues on AALL’s agenda. For more policy-related programming, see the Annual Meeting schedule. And don’t forget to pick up a red, white, and blue “Advocate” ribbon at the registration desk when you arrive!

Saturday, July 16
Legislative Advocacy Training 2016
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join your colleagues at this year’s Advocacy Training workshop and leave prepared to effectively advocate for the issues that matter to you. The training will provide you with the opportunity to hear from special guest speaker Krys Shaw, Deputy District Director for Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), on the ins and outs of the political process and how to have the greatest impact on policy-making. You’ll also have the chance to network with experienced law librarian advocates who will provide their advice about how to influence decision-makers. If you haven’t yet registered and would like to attend, please contact Director of Government Relations Emily Feltren.

Sunday, July 17
Program B5: AALL Public Policy Update
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Connect with the Government Relations Office, fellow advocates, and AALL’s three policy committees on the Association’s advocacy efforts. Program participants will spend time in small, focused discussion sections led by the chairs of the Copyright, Digital Access to Legal Information, and Government Relations Committees. Topics will include recent proposals to update U.S. Copyright Law, the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, and developments on bills related to public access to Congressional Research Service reports, email privacy, and funding for the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress. The program will conclude with the presentations of the Robert L. Oakley Advocacy and Public Access to Government Information Awards.

Chapter Government Relations Get-Together
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Chapter leaders and government relations chairs are invited to attend the fourth annual Chapter Government Relations Get-Together in the American Craft Kitchen and Bar at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Network with chapter colleagues, strategize on upcoming advocacy campaigns, and celebrate the chapter successes of the past year in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere! RSVPs are appreciated but not required.

Act Now

Tell Us: 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 whether or not to continue printing cumulative annual supplements to the United States Code. AALL is collecting feedback from members about the proposal to share with the OLRC, anonymously if requested. How would the elimination of the print supplements impact your library users? Do you have concerns about the proposal? How could the publication of the Code better meet your library users’ needs? Please let us know! To learn more, watch Law Revision Counsel Ralph Seep discuss the proposal during the recorded House Legislative Data Transparency Conference (panel starts at 6 hours 30 minutes). AALL member Scott Matheson joined Mr. Seep and former House Parliamentarian John Sullivan for a panel titled “Consuming the Law”.

Roundup and Review  

  • AALL celebrated the latest court decision on net neutrality
  • GPO posted a short recorded webcast on changes to implementation of the regional discard policy. GPO announced the elimination of the planned testing period and will launch Phase 1 of implementation to all regionals in September 2016