Sunday, February 28, 2010

ALA files comments to FCC on proposed rule that would impact E-rate

The American Library Association (ALA) filed comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday regarding the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposes a new rule for schools as a result of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act and rule revisions for schools and libraries to reflect existing statutory language of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Both the proposed new rule and rule revisions would impact the universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries also known as the E-rate program.

E-rate discounts are critical in meeting the ongoing and ever increasing telecommunications needs of libraries. ALA commented that the additional burden caused by the proposed rule revisions will likely have a negative impact on library participation in the E-rate program through added complexity and potential funding delays.

The ALA asks the Commission to carefully review the necessity or benefit of making the proposed changes. ALA points out that the burdens and delays associated with the resulting form and instruction changes, online form programming, and OMB approvals as well as the time and energy that will be required to deal with the confusion associated with these changes, are unnecessary and counter-productive. With the exception of the added language in the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, there have been no other statutory changes to CIPA since its enactment in 2000, and ALA is not aware of issues that would cause the need for the revisions being proposed at this time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Something's brewing in Milwaukee: WAAL Conference April 21-23

Prepare to stir up new ideas and fun at the WAAL Conference, featuring keynotes from Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Rachel Singer Gordon to get our creative juices flowing. Luncheon speakers and events showcase some of Milwaukee's great history and attractions - the WAAL 2010 conference has something for everyone. Come see colleagues from around the state present on the latest technology, instruction ideas and exciting new ways of meeting patron needs. So mark your calendars for WAAL 2010. Registration is available now! For more information see:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Governor Doyle, U.S. Commerce Official Announce Nearly $29 Million for Broadband Investments

GREEN BAY – Governor Jim Doyle and US Deputy Commerce Secretary Dennis Hightower today announced Wisconsin will invest $28.7 million to expand broadband Internet access, including $22.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The grant will provide high-speed Internet access to 467 sites in over 380 communities in all the state’s 72 counties.

“High-speed Internet access is critical to the success of our state’s entrepreneurs, businesses, students and families,” Governor Doyle said. “This project will create jobs to lay and install fiber cable, for telecommunications contractors and technicians, and in fields like construction, manufacturing, masonry and electrical wiring. Through the Recovery Act, the Obama Administration is making major investments in Wisconsin’s broadband infrastructure to help our schools and libraries access high-speed Internet.”

Wisconsin is receiving one of several national Recovery Act grants for broadband development. The state’s project will expand broadband Internet access to 74 schools, eight post-secondary schools including two tribal colleges, and 385 libraries. 84 percent of the school districts and colleges receiving the grant are in rural areas. Over 200 miles of fiber optic cable will be installed and more than $10 million will be spent on American-made telecommunications equipment and materials....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Libraries: Create Adventure

Wisconsin librarians, save the date! The 2010 Wisconsin Library Association conference will be held November 2 -5 at the Kalahari Resort, in Wisconsin Dells. The planning committee, co-chaired by Melissa McLimans (UW Digital Collections Center) and Linda Vincent (Milwaukee Public Library) convened last month to begin preparations for what promises to be an exciting and informative event. So mark your calendars and get ready to explore the wonderful world of Wisconsin librarianship. Don't forget to check the WLA Web site for conference updates at

Friday, February 05, 2010


Library Legislative Day
Tuesday, February 16 2010
Best Western Inn on the Park

Is your library the heart of your community? Let your legislator know that!
As librarians we know that we are having to do more with less. In these tough economic times, the library can be the only resource for many in their search and application for new jobs and much more. Most libraries are showing big increases in library patron visits. The library is a core resource for the community. Let your legislators know what you are doing and how important libraries are to the state of Wisconsin.

Register TODAY for Library Legislative Day! It is not too late!

More Information:

Library Jobs Need to be in the Jobs Bill!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that he will bring the Senate’s $80 billion version of the Jobs for Main Street Act or the “jobs bill” to the Senate floor sometime next week.

Libraries are not in this bill, and it is more important than ever that you call your Senators and encourage them to include librarians in the $20.5 billion section that is being used to hire and retain teachers, police, and firefighters.

Also, if you are in a state where librarians are represented by a union, please have your local union contact your national union to contact the Senate.

Please call your Senators today at the U.S. Capital switchboard 202-224-3121

Libraries are as essential as schools and public safety and help the economy by helping people find jobs. Yet library jobs are being cut – and, now, not included in this jobs bill. It is vitally important that librarians be as vocal as these other public employees. The reason they are getting funding in this piece of legislation is because they are calling their congressional offices more often and in higher numbers than we are.

Your grassroots efforts are critically important. The omission of librarians in the jobs bill is in addition to the troubling news this week that President Obama’s budget proposal freezes the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and consolidates the school library program with literacy programs in the Department of Education. These cuts will lead to a loss of jobs and a loss of services that our communities cannot afford to be without.

Please call both of your U.S. Senators to ask each of them to request that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), include the hiring and retaining of librarians in their jobs bill.

This bill could come up at any moment and it is critically important that you contact your Senators’ offices immediately and tell them to push the above Senate leaders to include librarians in the jobs bill. Don’t just call once – keep calling until we succeed. Make sure to tell your senators what your library is doing to help people find jobs.

We cannot let this legislation pass without the inclusion of library employees. We have no chance of getting into this legislation without your calls and emails – and the support of all senators!!

Latest Blow to School Libraries and Students

President’s FY2011 budget proposals calls for cuts to school library program

A press release is going out across AASL communication channels in response to the President’s Budget Proposal which eliminates the Improving Literacy through School Libraries Act,shown to be effective in raising literacy levels in poorer schools, designed to boost academic achievement by providing students with access to up-to-date school library materials. School Library Journal published an article today outlining the action and its consequences on school libraries. When school libraries are impacted, so are public and academic libraries, all part of the learning continuum that we make up.

ALA Council members, all ALA members, and library advocates can help by contacting your federal representatives and local media outlets immediately, sharing the impact school library programs have in your districts and asking for restoration of these crucial funds for school libraries.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Governor's Archives Awards Nominations Due April 1

Nominations for the 2010 Governor’s Archives Awards are being accepted by the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board (WHRAB) and the Wisconsin Historical Society through April 1st. The three awards recognize archival achievement, innovation, and advocacy work with historic documents. These awards honor individuals, organizations, and formal programs that make distinctive contributions to historical records preservation and access. Award winners will be announced in June and will be formally presented an award during Archives Month in October 2010. Last year’s award winners include the Clark County Historical Internet Library; the International Harvester Collectors, Wisconsin Chapter 4, Inc.; and the Milwaukee Public Library with the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society. For more information, including guidelines and printable nomination forms, visit:, or contact Emily Christopherson at

Monday, February 01, 2010

$100 million for Rural Public Libraries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Secretary of Agriculture has allocated $100 million in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities funding for public libraries to provide educational opportunities and improve public services in rural communities. The funding will be provided primarily through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“In 78 percent of rural communities, the library is the sole provider of no-fee Internet access,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, said.

“This funding specifically set aside for rural libraries is a lifeline for communities across the country who depend on their local libraries for basic needs such as Internet access as well as assistance with e-government services, literacy and homework programs, and much more. We thank the USDA for its recognition of the vital role libraries play in rural communities and their need for funding.”

Funds may be used to construct, enlarge or improve public libraries. This can include costs to acquire land needed for a facility, pay necessary professional fees and purchase equipment required for operation. Funds can be used to purchase shelving, furniture, computers, audio-visual equipment, distance learning equipment and bookmobiles.

Depending on funding availability, USDA Rural Development will provide up to $500,000 in additional Recovery Act dedicated grant funds to each of the State Offices for library projects.

For more information on the program and how to apply, see the USDA Rural Development fact sheet.

Or, to reach the USDA Rural Development contact for a Wisconsin visit:

Contact: Jenni Terry
Press Officer, ALA Washington Office