Library Advocacy Needed: House Considering Two Amendments Critical to Future of Libraries

The American Library Association Office of Government Relations (Washington Office) released the following call for advocacy to protect services critical to libraries. Please share widely: 
 
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. 
Jason Kucsma
Author: Jason Kucsma
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