2006-2007 CD # 20.4
2007 ALA Annual Conference
2007 ALA Annual Conference
ALA Committee on Legislation
Report to Council
Lee (Molly) Fogarty
Chair of the ALA Committee on Legislation
The ALA Committee on Legislation (COL) brings this report to Council with seven action items
for your consideration. Also included in this report are several important information items.
We refer you to the ALA Washington Office Six-Month Report, previously made available to
you, where you will find additional information about recent legislative activities of the Office of
Government Relations and COL.
The first three action items relate to FY2008 appropriations for three extremely important library
service areas – all funded in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill.
Council Document # 20.5
Resolution on the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
(NDIIPP) FY 2008 Funding
RESOLVED, the American Library Association urge Congress to restore full funding for
NDIIPP to complete its activities.
Council Document # 20.6
Resolution on Government Printing Office FY 2008 Appropriations
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA) urge Congress to reaffirm its
commitment to vital Government Printing Office (GPO) and Federal Depository Library Program
services and collections and to sustain critical functions associated with print and electronic
government information, such as GPO Access and Future Digital System (FDSys); and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge Congress to fund fully the United States
Government Printing Office appropriation for FY 2008 at the $182 million requested by the Public
Council Document # 20.7
Resolution on Funding For the National Library Service
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association call upon the Congress to fund the $19.1
million needed to support the National Library Service’s digitization project to convert to up-to-
date digital technology and thus improve Talking Books services to people with visual or
Council Document # 20.8
Resolution on No Child Left Behind
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA) urge the passage of the SKILLS
Act with provisions to be included in any reauthorization of “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB).
The provisions are (1) to include school library media specialists who meet the criteria
established by the state educational agency as highly qualified in NCLB, (2) to require school
districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every school within the district employs at least one
highly qualified school library media specialist; (3) to allow state and local professional
development funds (Title II) to be used to assist in recruiting and training highly qualified school
library media specialists: and be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association communicate [this resolution] to the
United States Congress, and the President of the United States.
Council Document # 20.9
Resolution on Principles for Digital Content
That the American Library Association adopts this declaration, Principles for Digital Content.
(Note additional information about the work of the OITP Advisory Committee and its
Digitization Taskforce can be found later in this report.)
Our final two resolutions acknowledge the work of two ALA staff members who have made
incredible contributions to the American Library Association and to the entire field of
librarianship. Rick Weingarten is retiring from his position as the highly successful director of
ALA’s Office for Information Technology (OITP). Miriam Nisbet has accepted what we believe
to be the highest placed American at UNESCO in Paris, France.
Council Document # 20.10
Resolution of Appreciation for Frederick Weingarten
RESOLVED that the American Library Association congratulates Rick on his retirement; and be
RESOLVED that the Association is delighted to continue work with Rick as he consults with
OITP on ongoing research projects; and be it further
RESOLVED that the ALA membership extends its sincere appreciation for Rick’s tireless efforts
on behalf of the Association and library users around the world and wishes him continued
Council Document # 20.11
Resolution of Appreciation for Miriam Nisbet
RESOLVED, that the membership of the American Library Association wish Miriam Nisbet the
best of luck in her new position as Director of the Information Society Division at the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and be it further
RESOLVED, that the ALA look forward to continued collaboration with Miriam Nisbet in her
new role at UNESCO; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the ALA membership extend its sincere appreciation for Miriam Nisbet’s
tireless efforts on behalf of the Association.
Additional action item for Wednesday, June 27:
Tomorrow we will be cosponsoring with the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) a resolution
on national security letters (NSLs) and calling upon ALA to urge Congress to reform the law
surrounding NSLs in order to assure the Right to Read Free of Government Surveillance. We
look forward to discussing this with you further tomorrow. And, we want to thank the work of
IFC as well as the Privacy Subcommittees of both IFC and COL for the joint efforts that have led
to a strong resolution reiterating ALA’s support for civil liberties.
Library Programs and Appropriations
At this conference, we learned that Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Thad Cochran (R-MS) and
Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) have agreed to introduce the Strengthening Kids’ Interest
in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act. Provisions in the SKILLS Act include ensuring that
funds serve elementary, middle and high school students; expanding professional development to
include information literacy instruction, and require school districts, to the extent feasible, to
ensure that every school within the district employs at least one highly qualified school library
media specialist. [See Appendix #1 for additional information.]
The SKILLS Act sponsors will make their public announcement at a press conference today,
June 26, at Noon in front of a Cleveland Public Library bookmobile parked at the Capitol. While
you are on the Hill this afternoon, we hope that you will all attend this event to demonstrate the
strong support the entire library community has for school library media centers and our
librarians who work in them.
Cleveland’s bookmobile will be parked at the east curb of South Capitol St, between C St and D
St, SE (closest to the South Capitol St and C St intersection). President Leslie Burger will be
speaking along with the bill sponsors.
Note that the bookmobile is one of many here in town today to showcase bookmobiles and
library services in general, at a public staging at McPherson Square not far from here. We thank
all of the libraries that sent their bookmobiles as part of the Library Day on the Hill events. The
nearest Metro station to the Convention Center is Mt. Vernon Sq./7th St-Convention Center
(Green/Yellow line) and the nearest station to Capitol Hill is Capitol South (Blue/Orange line).
The Subcommittee on Government Information (GIS) held two joint meetings with the
Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) Legislation Committee. The Subcommittee
completed one resolution, here before you today, on the Government Printing Office FY 2008
Appropriations. Another resolution, on Mirror Sites and E-Government, was also developed and
has several units endorsing it. However, COL deferred this particular resolution until Midwinter
in order to consult with additional membership units. Both resolutions were endorsed in
principle by the GIS and GODORT Legislation Committee.
A primary focus for GIS was its work with Carrie Russell of OITP and Tara Olivero of OGR to
identify an association-wide means of addressing e-government issues and furthering the work
already begun by OITP and others on e-government. Carrie Russell led a very productive
discussion from which we gathered considerable information leading to the outline of next steps
and process for the Association to work effectively on e-government.
The Subcommittee discussed recent legislation pertaining to Congressional Research Service
(CRS) reports. Because existing resolutions already outline ALA policy on the issue, the
Subcommittee voted to draft a letter with WO addressing the recent legislation and reaffirming
the Association’s commitment to no-fee public access to the CRS reports. Also discussed, but
with no action proposed at this time, was legislation amending the Presidential Records Act and
the Freedom of Information Act; open access to federally-funded research; and the EPA
The Subcommittee presented a proposal to COL for an association-wide “summit” on
government information issues to be held within the next year, perhaps at Midwinter. Discussion
should include government information issues of interest to a broad number of ALA groups; a
process to be employed throughout ALA to address these issues; and methods to enhance the
communication process. COL asked the Subcommittee to further refine the proposal perhaps
referring to it as a “dialogue” within ALA.
Prior to and during this conference, COL, GIS, GODORT and ACRL participated in emails and
conference discussions about what position ALA should take on draft guidelines from the
Government Printing Office (GPO) relating to the development of shared regional depository
libraries. Attached as Appendix #2 of this report is the text of the letter that is being sent this to
GPO following these extensive discussions. COL recognizes clearly that much future discussion
is needed within ALA to appropriately integrate the varied viewpoints and positions on the future
of FDLP and other government information issues. COL will continue its efforts to bring
together all ALA perspectives as these debates move forward.
The Subcommittee reported on the status of various initiatives including the wiki on federal
library threats which is up and running; however, members need to be more involved in adding
current as well as retroactive information. There was a review of the inter-association (SLA,
AALL, ALA, & MLA) letter on inquiring/responding to federal library threats. The
Subcommittee determined that it would be helpful to draft white papers on the various types of
federal libraries (such as military and scientific) and the unique issues they face, in order to
better advocate on their behalf.
The Subcommittee discussed strategies for conducting a new census of Federal Libraries as well
as the need to more proactively communicate the larger reform initiatives on Federal Libraries to
Congressional committees on oversight and reform. Subcommittee members will develop a one-
pager of “asks” that WO can use to take on meetings.
A subgroup has been formed to address issues surrounding the closure of EPA libraries. The
subcommittee also designated three members to attend a meeting in Washington on the EPA
library situation to be held on July 25th. The Subcommittee would also like to draft a letter with
the WO to show support for the House Appropriations Committee to restore funds for EPA
Libraries as the Senate did.
Members of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) attended the Subcommittee’s second
meeting and gave an update on the EPA study/report which should be completed by late October
or early November. Subcommittee members also made recommendations to the GAO.
Internet and Telecommunications Issues
The COL Subcommittee on Telecommunications met jointly with the OITP Telecommunications
Subcommittee. In collaboration with Chapter Relations, this group advised on the development
and delivery of a day-long preconference on state telecommunications policy at this conference.
The event brought together state and local representatives, who heard from a panel of telecom
experts on key policy and legislative issues at the state level as well as the opportunities and
pitfalls for libraries. We plan to continue working with and supporting this group in the coming
months. Again, we refer you to the Washington Office Six Month Report and the WO Issue
Briefs for additional information about recent legislative activities.
The Subcommittee spent the majority of its’ time working on a resolution concerning the use and
misuse of National Security Letters (NSLS) drafted by the Intellectual Freedom Committee.
Members of the IFC were at the meeting. The need for this specific resolution came about in
light of the John Doe v. Gonzales case; the testimony of George Christian before Congress; and
the recent report of the Office of the Inspector General on the use and misuse of National
Security Letters. The resolution is brought forward jointly by COL and the IFC urging legislative
action to significantly reform the process used to issue and review NSLs. Although we have
passed resolution in the past regarding the USA PATRIOT Act and related legislation, the
Subcommittee believes that at this time it is imperative for the Association to focus on the severe
threats that the abuse of the National Security Letter presents to the first amendment rights of
both librarians and library users as well as the general public.
The Privacy Subcommittee is continuing to follow legislative activity involving the appeal of the
REAL ID Act. ALA has already completed a resolution opposing the use of standardized
machine-readable national ID’s.
Copyright and Intellectual Property
One of the priorities for libraries is urging co-sponsorship of a bill to amend Section 1201 of the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). H.R. 1201, the Freedom and Innovation
Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act of 2007, would amend the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in some of the ways that libraries have been requesting.
The bill would allow circumvention of technological locks for preservation and educational
Other priorities remain including the re-introduction of legislation to amend the Copyright Act to
allow use of copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to find (“orphan
works”) and bills to require public access to federally funded research. The Committee also
reviewed activities relating to the ongoing work of the Section 108 Study Group that will make
recommendations to the Librarian of Congress (by Fall 2007) for possible alterations to the
copyright law that reflect current technologies; pending copyright court cases in which ALA has
filed “friend of the court” briefs; international copyright and trade activities, including current
initiatives at the World Intellectual Property Organization in which ALA and other library
representatives are participating. One WIPO initiative relates to possible protection of traditional
cultural expressions and traditional knowledge; COL is exploring ways to solicit views of ALA
members who have a particular interest in and expertise in this area.
National Library Legislative Day 2007
National Library Legislative Day 2007 was a successful event with over 400 librarians
participating from around the country. The planning committee will meet this fall to coordinate
the promotion of the 2008 event and will be working use the interest in advocacy and visibility
generated by the Library Day on the Hill during the annual 2007 conference to encourage new
advocates to attend the 2008 legislative day event. More information about the event is posted
on the ALA-Washington Office-OGR website.
Annual 2007 – Library Day on the Hill
COL wants to applaud the work of the ALA Washington Office for all of the work it has done to
prepare “Library Day on the Hill” this afternoon. This turns out to be an especially critical time
for us to visit Congress, especially on appropriations and civil liberties issues. As of today there
are well over 900 people already registered and more participants are expected. We will
followup after conference with a report on this activity. We hope that you will all join us this
Grassroots Advocacy Subcommittee (GRAS) Legislation Assembly (LA)
The COL Grassroots Legislative Advocacy Subcommittee and their Ad Hoc group met in a
combined session during the annual conference. Participants in the meeting included legislation
committee chairs from the divisions, Federal Library Legislative & Advocacy (FLLAN)
contacts, and others actively involved in advocacy for federal issues. The goal of the meeting
was to pinpoint distribution outlets for a new handout the committee drafted that helps ALA
members locate information about federal issues and that describes how to get involved with
advocacy for federal issues. The committee also recommended that an assessment be made of
participation in the Library Day on the Hill event during the annual 2007 conference in order to
plan the themes and timing for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 National Library Legislative Days
(note: the 2010 Library Legislative Day will be held in Washington D.C.)
Library Services and Technology Act – reauthorization
This subcommittee continues its work to be ready for potential reauthorization in 2009. A
timeline and process for COL to proceed with reauthorization has begun and divisions, units and
chapters have been asked to be involved. A wiki will be established to facilitate ongoing
discussions with all ALA stakeholders.
OFFICE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY POLICY REPORT:
Pilot Study on Improving Library E-rate Participation
The Office for Information Technology Policy has just completed a seven-month project, funded
by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that examined the participation levels of public libraries
in the federal E-rate program and piloted an intervention to increase that participation. Together
with the E-rate Task Force, OITP created a two-part training program for state library E-rate
coordinators that provided an in-depth examination of the E-rate application and disbursement
process, modeled training techniques, and illuminated reasons why a low percentage of libraries
apply for E-rate funds or have applications denied by the program’s administrators.
Both training sessions included state library E-rate coordinators from more than 40 states. The
response from the participants was positive; they reported increased confidence levels, greater
understanding, and new ideas for training applicants in the states. Furthermore, the data collected
for the program years before and after the training showed an increased level of library
participation in the E-rate program. We were pleased to report these results to the Foundation,
and we hope to be able to continue this valuable activity next year.
Public Library Connectivity Study
Access to adequate broadband has emerged as a key issue for libraries. With the support of the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OITP recently completed a study to examine barriers to and
ways to improve broadband connectivity to public libraries. With 98% of public libraries
connected to the Internet and providing public access computing to patrons, the problem has
become not basic connectivity, but obtaining and sustaining access to the Internet services and
resources the public needs as bandwidth and user demands increase.
The research team explored the issue through focus groups with state librarians, state visits,
meetings with national organizations and service providers, and in-depth phone interviews. A
document summarizing the study’s findings is available now; a more complete project report will
be available later this summer.
The OITP Task Force on Digitization Policy
The OITP Task Force on Digitization has prepared a document called the “Principles for Digital
Content” to address concerns and questions raised by the accelerating rate of mass digitization
projects. Up until this time, the American Library Association did not have a policy framework
to guide decision-making regarding digitization efforts consistent with the profession's core
values and ethics. It is critical to the advancement of ALA's leadership role in the information
society to address the creation, access, use and preservation of digital materials and to begin a
review of ALA’s policies in all areas of library activity that are affected by this change to a
massively digital environment.
The Principles arise out of an April 2006 meeting attended by representatives from a wide
variety of organizations from the library and cultural heritage community. Based on the results of
that meeting, the Digitization Policy Task Force of OITP began an effort to craft a set of
principles based on professional ideals. In March 2007, the draft principles were presented to the
ALA community on the ALA blogs site for discussion. The Principles, both individually and as a
single document, were viewed over 7,500 times, and 66 comments were received through this
process. Other comments were delivered directly to the Task Force via email. Members of the
Task Force have personally been in contact with ALA Council, key ALA units and have attended
organizational meetings at ALA Midwinter in Seattle and at ALA Annual in Washington, D.C.
to present the Principles and solicit comments and endorsements. The resulting Principles are
now presented by the Committee on Legislation to ALA Council for its approval.
The Principles can be used by the profession to bolster decision-making and help guide librarians
as they move to an environment that is increasingly digital. If the Principles are endorsed by
Council at this conference, the Task Force can continue its work by contacting divisions and
other ALA units and handing off to them the task to revise their own policies if necessary to
reflect the new digital environment. The Task Force has already conducted a gap analysis of
existing ALA policy to support this effort.
New Advocacy Tool
Libraries now have available a free advocacy tool that creates reports on levels of library
connectivity. These colorful, customizable modules allow library advocates to develop a picture
of their state’s connectivity level, or create comparative reports. OITP collaborated with
researchers at Florida State University’s Information Institute to create this tool, which is
available from the Washington Office website.
OITP Director’s Retirement
Dr. Frederick Weingarten is retiring after ten years of service with the ALA Washington Office.
In 1999, Rick took over the management of the Office for Information Technology Policy, where
he brought new vision and expertise in information policy to ALA. During his tenure, Rick
established the copyright education program, provided targeted analysis of technology on the
library horizon, engaged in essential research, notably on broadband deployment to libraries,
helped libraries benefit from the federal E-rate program, and raised the visibility of OITP in
Washington policy circles. One of Rick’s major successes was the convening of an association-
wide workshop to draft the Principles for the Networked World brochure, which has received
broad acclaim. Perhaps most importantly, Rick has inspired many ALA members to become
involved in policy issues and advocate for libraries in important technology policy debates.
ALA Committee on Legislation
Highlights of the Proposed
“Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries” Act
Ensures that funds will serve elementary, middle, and high school students;
Requires books and materials to be appropriate for and engage the interest of students in
all grade levels and students with special learning needs, including English language
Expands professional development to include information literacy instruction appropriate
for all grade levels, an assessment of student literacy needs, the coordination of reading
and writing instruction across content areas, and training in literacy strategies in all
Defines highly qualified school library media specialists as those who have a bachelor’s
degree and obtained full state certification as a school library media specialist or passed
the State teacher licensing examination, with state certification in library media in such
Requires school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every school within the
district employs at least one highly qualified school library media specialist;
Establishes as a state goal that there be at least one highly qualified school library media
specialist in every public school no later than the beginning of the 2010-2011 school
Broadens the focus of training, professional development, and recruitment activities to
include school library media specialists; and
Enhances the skills, including those related to information literacy, of school library
media specialists to assist students to improve their academic achieve.
ALA Committee on Legislation
Text of Letter to GPO Acting Superintendent of Documents, Rick Smith on
May 2007 draft Guidelines for Establishing Shared Regional Depository Libraries
On behalf of the American Library Association (ALA), I am writing to express our support for
the May 2007 draft Guidelines for Establishing Shared Regional Depository Libraries. ALA has
a long standing commitment to supporting equal, ready and equitable public access to
government information. For more than 100 years, libraries have worked in partnership with the
federal government to deliver government information to the American people through the
Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). In the digital environment, no-fee, permanent
public access to government information is more crucial than ever.
For many years, libraries have taken advantage of resource sharing and cooperative
arrangements to improve and enhance services to the public. We are eager to build upon our
successes in this arena to strengthen our ability to deliver government information. Through
collaborative resource sharing, we are able to increase public access to resources as well as
respond more effectively to local needs.
The proposed Guidelines provide the flexibility and simplicity that regional and selective
depositories need to rethink the way they house and deliver government information to various
constituents. We also believe these guidelines facilitate future collaborations for shared regionals
that will encourage service innovations. This is important because every shared regional is
unique. Moreover, the librarians know best their collections and the needs of their users. The
Guidelines document begins to outline many of the basic steps to take in forming a shared
regional and should be invaluable to those exploring the process.
The proposed Guidelines recognize the value of open communication and collaboration between
regional and selective depository libraries in developing and maintaining a shared regional
depository. Giving affected regional and selective depositories ample opportunity to participate in
discussions and express concerns regarding the formation of a shared regional will go a long way
toward securing broad-based support.
Our goal, like yours, is to improve and enhance public access to our depository collections.
Establishing shared regional depository libraries will allow us to leverage existing resources and
develop trusted repositories for current and retrospective collections following the same
procedures and practices outlined in the FDLP Handbook. The GPO should encourage shared
regionals to share best practices their experiences and with other depositories.
We are pleased that GPO has taken the initiative to encourage resource sharing among
depository libraries and to work together with the library community and Congress to make this
effort a success. As this process evolves, we look forward to working with you to implement the