Ask Your Legislators to Support Budget Resolutions for Increased State Aid for Libraries
Jun 11, 2015

Current Per Person State Aid to NJ Libraries is Less Than The Cost of a Postage Stamp!

Please ask your legislators to support resolutions to provide an additional 3 million in the New Jersey State Per Capita Aid Program in the upcoming state budget. Funding for library programs has been at a greatly reduced level for six straight years. The current level of support is only 41 cents per person per year! Since FY11, the state budget has increased by billions of dollars. Many programs which had suffered funding cuts in the FY11 budget have been restored. Funding for library programs, however, have remained at this decreased level.

Click here to contact your legislators.


A Message from the ALA Washington Office
Jun 11, 2015


Cosponsor and Pass S. 779

Contact your Senator to ask that they demonstrate their support of open access to taxpayer funded research by cosponsoring and pushing for passage of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015 (FASTR). Ask the staffer who answers the phone if their boss is supporting FASTR. If they say yes, ask if that is a firm yes. If they have objections, ask if they can explain what those might be. Please take a moment to share what you learn with us, so that we can follow up. And the staffers will in turn share those concerns or supporters (with the offices working on this bill) and follow up with your Senator.

What does this bill mean for libraries and the public?

  • Each year, U.S. taxpayers invest hundreds of millions of dollars in publicly-funded research and have a right to expect access to the resulting published data, analyses and articles;
  •  FASTR will assure that the tax-paying public—including students, teachers, journalists, scientists, entrepreneurs and established businesses alike—will have prompt access to this critical information without paying for it twice.  

If passed, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act would:

  • Extend the National Institutes of Health Public Access policy to 11 addi¬tional federal agencies and departments, thus requiring those with an annual extra-mural research budget of $100 million or more ultimately to mandate that all funded researchers provide the agency with an electronic copy of the final manuscript of any paper accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal;
  • Ensure that all submitted manuscripts are preserved in a stable digital repository maintained by the funding agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation;
  • Require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public, online and without cost, no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Click here to contact your Senator.


Can't Make it to National Library Legislative Day? Take Part in VIRTUAL Library Legislative Day!
Apr 30, 2015


If you aren’t able to travel to Washington, D.C. for National Library Legislative Day this year, you can still take part in the festivities with Virtual Library Legislative Day! Virtual Library Legislative Day allows library advocates to contact Congress from home or work. VLLD activities will be held throughout the week of May 4th and ALA has created talking points to include when calling or emailing your legislators. For more information about Virtual Library Legislative Day, including flyers, bookmarks, a video tutorial, and talking points, visit:

Save the Date - National Library Legislative Day!
Mar 10, 2015


This year, National Library Legislative Day will be held in Washington, DC on May 4th and 5th. The ALA Washington Office has posted the following message detailing the reasons we should participate in this event:

I don't think I need to overemphasize for you the important roles that libraries play in our communities. The epicenter of progress and knowledge, libraries have evolved to meet the educational and technological needs of their patrons.

These institutions of learning and creation need to be protected and improved at all costs. And in the wake of the sweeping changes to both the House and the Senate in the 2014 Congressional elections, it is more important than ever that we speak up on behalf of libraries and the communities they serve.

Your firsthand library experience - from behind the reference desk or as a patron - is an invaluable part of helping legislators to understand the impact that libraries have in the day to day lives of their constituents. Without you, they may not realize what happens to a community when library budgets get cut and staff are let go, let alone how legislation on net neutrality, copyright, or privacy can involve libraries too. We need to urge Members of Congress to think about how the policy and legislation they are working on could harm or help libraries.  To do that, we need boots on the ground here in Washington, D.C. - we need library advocates.

That’s why we’re inviting YOU to National Library Legislative Day 2015!
This two-day advocacy event brings hundreds of librarians, trustees, library supporters, and patrons to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress to rally support for libraries issues and policies. This year, National Library Legislative Day will be held May 4-5, 2015. Participants will receive advocacy tips and training, along with important issues briefings prior to their meetings.
First-time participants are eligible for a unique scholarship opportunity. The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) and the ALA Washington Office are calling for nominations for the 2015 WHCLIST Award. Recipients of this award receive a stipend ($300 and two free nights at a D.C. hotel) to a non-librarian participant in National Library Legislative Day.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Join NJLA in Increasing Per Capita State Aid for NJ Libraries
Feb 04, 2015

Since a 43% cut to state aid to libraries in 2010, the State of New Jersey has said to New Jersey Libraries: Here’s 41 Cents Per Person.  

Please sign this petition to show your support for an increase in Per Capita State Aid for New Jersey's Libraries.  Share this petition with your friends, family members and neighbors who value libraries and understand the public library's importance to our communities.  If you have already filled out the petition, thank you and keep sharing!

 Take Action

ALA Washington Office Conference Sessions at Midwinter
Jan 23, 2015


Heading to Chicago for ALA Midwinter at the end of the month? Check out these conference sessions hosted by The ALA Washington Office:

Whither Washington?: The 2014 Election and What it Means for Libraries
Saturday, January 31, 2015

A panel of experts from the ranks of politics, academia and the press will explore the implications of the November mid-term Congressional elections for America, libraries and library advocacy at the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. ALA invited U.S. Senator and Democratic Majority Whip Richard Durbin to keynote the conference session. The session, titled “Whither Washington?: The 2014 Election and What it Means for Libraries,” takes place from 8:30–10:00a.m. on Saturday, January 31, 2015, in the McCormick Convention Center, room W183A. With critical bills to reauthorize federal library funding, efforts to reform key privacy and surveillance statutes, and changes to copyright law all likely to be on legislators’ plates, libraries will engage heavily with the newly-elected 114th Congress.

An Hour a Week: Library Advocacy is Easy!!!
Saturday, January 31, 2015

In her inaugural column for American Libraries, titled “Advocate. Today.,” American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young challenged librarians of all types, and friends of libraries, to commit to spending just an hour a week advocating for libraries. To take the mystery out of just what “advocacy” means, how to do it and how to have fun along the way, ALA’s Offices of Intellectual Freedom (OIF), Library Advocacy (OLA), Public Information and the Washington Office will partner with all ALA divisions to present “An Hour a Week: Library Advocacy is Easy!!!” during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

The session, which will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 10:30–11:30 a.m., will be led by the ever-popular “Advocacy Guru,” Stephanie Vance, who will walk “newbies” and “old pros” alike through just what advocacy means today–from engaging with the local PTAs and library boards to lobbying the White House. With the help of panelists from OIF and OLA, Vance will share easy advocacy strategies and lead a lightening tour of the many terrific ALA advocacy resources available to give “ALAdvocates” everything they need to answer Courtney’s call.

All Eyes on IMLS: Funding Priorities and Reauthorization
Saturday, January 31, 2015
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Thinking about new funding sources for your library? Join leaders from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) when they discuss federal library funding resources at the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The session, titled “All Eyes on IMLS: Funding Priorities and Reauthorization,” takes place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 31, 2015, in the McCormick Convention Center, room W183A.

Library 3D Printing—Unlocking the Opportunities, Understanding the Challenges
Sunday, February 1, 2015
10:30–11:30 a.m.

Technological developments in 3D printing are empowering people to learn new skills, launch business ventures and solve complex health problems. As this cutting-edge technology becomes more common in libraries, what do librarians need to know? Join a panel of information professionals for the session “Library 3D Printing—Unlocking the Opportunities, Understanding the Challenges” which takes place during the 2015 American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The session will be held from 10:30–11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 1, 2015, in the McCormick Convention Center room W470A.

What is a Policy Revolution! Anyway?
Sunday, February 1, 2015
1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Library and policy leaders will discuss Policy Revolution!, an initiative to advance national policy for libraries and our communities, during the 2015 American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The session, titled “What is a Policy Revolution! anyway?,” takes place from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 1, 2015 in the McCormick Convention Center, room W196A. In a time of dramatic technological advances and increasing competition for federal resources, the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy launched the Policy Revolution!, a grant-funded effort that focuses on establishing proactive policy priorities, engaging decision makers and influencers and upgrading the organization’s policy capacity. Come to learn more about the initiative, discuss a preliminary policy agenda and how it all relates to the ALA’s overall strategy.

ALA DCWG: Libraries and Ebooks—Where Do We Go from Here?
Sunday, February 1, 2015
10:30–11:30 a.m.

How much do you know about the current library ebook lending environment? A leading panel of library and publishing experts will provide an update on the library ebook lending market and discuss the best ways for libraries to bring together authors and readers in the digital age at the 2015 American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The session “ALA DCWG: Libraries and Ebooks—Where Do We Go from Here?” takes place from 10:30–11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 1, 2015, in the McCormick Convention Center in room W196B.

During the session, leaders of ALA’s Digital Content Working Group (DCWG) and an expert panel provide insights on new opportunities available to libraries now that five of the world’s largest publishers provide libraries with access to their full ebook catalogs. The expert panel will explore new ebook lending issues, such as business models, pricing structures, privacy terms, and digital preservation. The working group will provide a summary of recent DCWG advocacy activities and explore new opportunities for collaboration between libraries and authors.

Tell the IRS: Tax Forms in the Library
Sunday, February 1, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Want to comment on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tax form delivery service? Discuss your experiences obtaining tax forms for your library at “Tell the IRS: Tax Forms in the Library,” a session that takes place during the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The session will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 1, 2015, in the McCormick Place, the Chicago Convention Center, room W187. Trish Evans, administrator of distribution for the IRS, will lead the discussion that will explore library participation in the agency’s Tax Forms Outlet Program (TFOP). The TFOP offers tax forms and products to the American public primarily through participating libraries and post offices.

Stay on Top of Key Library Legislative Issues and Fun Facts!
Dec 05, 2014


Did you know there are more public libraries in the USA than McDonalds?

The ALA Washington Office has put together two Factsheets that list important library legislative issues and key facts about 21st century libraries.

For more library-related fun facts, click here.




ALA Agrees with President Obama's Commitment to Net Neutrality
Nov 14, 2014


The following statement regarding ALA’s agreement with President Obama’s stance on net neutrality was posted on District Dispatch, the official blog of the ALA Washington Office, on November 11, 2014:

“The ALA heartily agrees with the essential elements of network neutrality affirmed by President Obama: no blocking, no throttling, increased transparency, and no paid prioritization,” said ALA Incoming President Sari Feldman. “As the President noted, these elements are ‘built into the fabric of the internet since its creation.’ In fact, the initial protocols for the internet were developed by institutions of higher education, and universities were the first to deploy private high-speed data networks that formed the test-bed for what later became the public internet.”

To read the entire blog post, click here.

FREE WEBINAR: Making the Election Connection
Oct 01, 2014

Making the Election Connection - A Webinar

ALA and Advocacy Guru Stephanie Vance will host a free webinar on Monday, October 6th from 2 PM to 2:30 PM EDT entitled Making the Election Connection. The webinar will address how all types of library supporters can legally engage during this upcoming election season and will describe impactful activities. Each participant will learn 10 quick and easy outreach tactics.

For more information, visit:

A Message from the ALA Washington Office
Jul 07, 2014


Please contact your United States Representative TODAY at 202-224-3121 and urge her/him to support the passage of H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Senate recently passed this bill with a bipartisan vote of 95-3. Your help is crucial to ensure that the House does the same thing.

H.R. 803 would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and has the following provisions supporting public libraries:

Title I – Workforce Development Activities

  • Allows public libraries to be considered additional One-Stop partners. Meaning that Libraries will now have access to federal funding for job training and job search programs.
  • Functions of the State and Local Workforce Development Board. State and Local Workforce Boards must include plans to improve digital literacy skills at One-Stop delivery systems.
  • Prohibits federal supervision or control over selection of library resources.
  • Allowable Statewide Employment and Training Activities. Authorizes adult education and literacy activities provided by public libraries as an allowable statewide employment and training activity.

Title II – Adult Education and Literacy

  • Definition of Workforce Preparation Activities. Includes a definition of “workforce preparation activities” that specifically includes digital literacy skills.

H.R. 803 could be a huge victory for libraries and your call could get this legislation to the President’s desk. Your participation can make all the difference. Please call today!


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