Monday, May 6, 2013

The Wisconsin Library Association's 2013 Federal Legislative Agenda

As prepared by Julie Schneider
Director, Ebling Library, UW-Madison Health Sciences
Member, Wisconsin Library Association Library Development & Legislation Committee/ALA Federal Relations Coordinator

Budget page and links provided by RG.

Fund Library Programs

Dollar amounts shown in thousands (000)

Access for All
  • Co-sponsor and support the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) (S.350, H.R.708) which builds on the success of the NIH public access policy by increasing public access to federally funded research in an additional 11 federal departments. 
  • Support privacy and First Amendment principles as the House and Senate address legislative proposals related to cybersecurity, data collection/retention and surveillance proposals. Library supporters seek to improve the balance between our civil liberties and the need of law enforcement to protect our country. 

Elementary and Secondary Schools and Children
  • Support the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the inclusion of language for school libraries. Quality school libraries with state-certified school librarians are critical to student success and you can support our students 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.
    • Allow state and local professional development funds to be used for recruiting and training school librarians. 
  • Maintain funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program at $28.6 million for FY 2014 and assure that at least half of these funds are allocated to competitive grants for underserved school libraries as required by law. This program is important because school libraries, and the librarians who work in them, are the primary source for digital literacy training and the related education needed for students to gain the skills to function in careers and higher education in the digital age. 
  • Support changes to the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act (S.758) to include language describing the importance of school libraries which are critical parts of the literacy teaching services and resources in K-12 schools. 

Broadband and Telecommunications 
  • Support the E-rate program to ensure that public libraries and K-12 public and private schools can provide critical Internet access to communities and students. 

Libraries Role in Economic Future
  • Address reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the Senate and require the inclusion of public libraries in this important legislation. It is imperative 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.

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