The 2012 Wisconsin delegation (left to right): Kurt Kiefer, DPI Divison for Libraries & Technology; Julie Schneider, Ebling Library (WLA Federal Legislative Advocate); Joshua Klingbeil, Wisconsin Valley Library Service; Marty Van Pelt, South Central Library System; Gary Poulsen, South Central Library System; Rhonda Puntney, Lakeshores Library System (WLA Board, Past President); Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library (WLA Board, ALA Councilor), Allison Kaplan, UW-Madison SLIS (WLA Board, WEMTA Representative). Additional information may be obtained from the Wisconsin Federal Legislative Advocate:
Fund Library Programs:
- Provide level funding at $184.7 million for FY13 for the “Library Services and Technology Act” (LSTA) that allows libraries to provide essential services to their communities. LSTA funds support National Leadership Grants, Native American & Native Hawaiian Library Services, and state projects such as resume workshops, summer reading programs, job searching databases and more.
- Support increased funding for Library of Congress at $643.5 million to maintain current service levels and resources.
- Maintain funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program at $28.6 million for FY13 in support of school libraries.
- Support full funding for the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the Law Library of Congress and others.
Access for All:
- Co-sponsor and support the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) (S.2096, H.R.4004) to build on the success of the NIH public access policy by increasing public access to federally funded research in an additional 11 federal departments.
- Maintain funding for the Government Printing Office at FY12 levels to preserve public access to the resources of the Federal Digital System (FDSYS) and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).
- Support passage of the Faster Freedom of Information Act of 2011 (S.1466 & H.R.1564) which would reduce impediments to the processing of FOIA requests; one of the public’s paths to access to information by and about the government.
- Support a free and open Internet for all by voting in favor of Net Neutrality. Support the Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 (S.74).
Elementary and Secondary Schools and Children:
- Support and cosponsor the “Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries” (SKILLs) Act (S.1328, H.R.3776) which recognizes and validates the role of school libraries and professional school librarians in the education of children.
- In October 2011, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee marked-up the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) but did not include any language for school libraries. WLA urges that when Congress reauthorizes the ESEA that it includes school libraries by incorporating the following provisions:
- Maintain dedicated federal funding for school libraries;
- Include provisions under Title I state and local plans and the Race to the Top Fund to establish a state goal of having a school library staffed by a state-licensed school library in each public school; and,
- Allow state and local professional development funds to be used for recruiting and training school librarians
- Fund the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program at $28.6 million and assure that at least half of these funds are allocated to competitive grants for underserved school libraries as required by law.
Broadband and Telecommunications:
- Support to protect the E-rate program to ensure that public libraries and K-12 public and private schools can provide critical Internet access to students.
Libraries Role in Economic Future:
- Support the Workforce Investment through Local Libraries (WILL) Act (H.R.1616) which amends the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to integrate public libraries into State and local workforce investment boards and to make libraries eligible for resources to help the public with resume development, job bank web searches, literacy services, and provide workshops on career information.
Legislative Action Center
The Legislative Action Center (LAC) is ALA's pipeline to Capitol Hill. It features updates on all the important library-related legislation making its way through Congress. More importantly, it allows you to send an email or fax directly to your Members of Congress! Be sure to type in a personalized story or description about how the legislation you're writing about impacts your library. If you experience problems with or have questions about the LAC, please email Alston Roberts. And don't hesitate to pick up the phone, too! Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202.225.3121 to contact your Members of Congress.