Call Your Senators NOW to Save $200 Million For Libraries

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED – CALL NOW TO SAVE $200 MILLION FOR Amendment to cut libraries out of broadband package in Senate stimulus bill

Take Action!

Calls to ALL Senators are needed IMMEDIATELY to protect $200 million for libraries, community computing centers and related institutions in the original language of the Senate stimulus bill, H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We have just been advised that Senators Kent Conrad (ND-D) and Lindsey Graham (SC-R) are expected to introduce Senate Amendment 501 which would strip funding for libraries and broadband to put additional funding in FDIC. If introduced, the vote could take place this afternoon.

The message is: keep the $200 million for libraries and broadband in H.R. 1 – defeat amendment 501. Libraries provide information on jobs, employment skills, and all other types of job-seeking information. More people are using libraries during these difficult times and the demand for broadband is greater than ever.

Senator Patrick Leahy –

Senator Bernie Sanders –

ALA Councilor's Report, Tuesday, January 27th

Tuesday is our busiest council day. We began the morning with our second council session which was taken up mostly with discussion of a report on e participation. A detailed survey and report was created encouraging more remote member participation. I expect that most of the report will be adopted and suggestions implemented after associated costs are determined. Another report which was discussed and adopted was Core Competencies of Librarianship.

Following the council meeting the chapter councilors from more than 30 states met to discuss state and ALA issues. Much of the discussion centered around communication between the Chicago Chapter Office and the ALA Washington Office particularly as it pertains to the inclusion of public libraries in the economic stimulus package. General sentiment seemed to be that states did not have much input into what ALA decided to lobby for in regards to public libraries. The discussion will continue.

After the chapter meeting I attended a council forum and spoke up about a resolution to require wireless capability in all conference hotels. I am particularly interested in this issue as I enjoy blogging at conferences. A lot of discussion took place about a resolution to encourage peace in the Middle East in order to preserve library resources from being destroyed in conflict zones.

Following the council forum I went directly to a chapter council reception at the Denver Public Library. The building is beautiful and the view from the seventh floor stunning. Most interesting was a round, hand-crafted table in a pyramid shaped meeting room which was where the G8 leaders met in 1997. We sat in the seats where Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair, etc. sat and discussed world issues.

As always you may email me at


Nancy Wilson

ALA Councilor's Report, Monday, January 26th

The lecture I attended yesterday by Muhammad Yunus, banker to the poor, was excellent. He is a small, unassuming man who has done amazing things for poor women in countries where his Grameen Bank gives micro-loans to lift families out of poverty. He had a simple yet revolutionary idea to lend people money to begin small businesses without a time limit on repaying the loan. He now tells stories of illiterate poor people whose children are becoming doctors and businesss people. His talk was one of the most inspirational I have ever attended.
ALA has begun a page that “offers timely and valuable information to support libraries in the creation of arts and humanities programs in their communities.”You can find more information at At this time the focus in on Black History Month programming, and as time goes on ALA plans to post more information.
Children’s book awards were announced this morning. The Newbury Medal goes to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and the Caldecott Award goes to The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes.
This afternoon I have a committee meeting and expect that council business will heat up this evening when we have our first council forum. I’ll post more tomorow.
Nancy Wilson

Library Construction Projects?

As part of an information gathering exercise for the ALA Washington Office, I need to know if there are any “shovel ready” library construction projects in our state. If your library is planning such a project (renovation or new construction) and you are far enough in the planning that you could start building in the near future, I want to hear from you. I am especially interested in public libraries, but want to hear about other library projects, too.

When the Obama administration begins to look for projects to “put people to work” we want to be able to suggest the idea of library construction.

I need to know:

  • Name of library and contact person/info;
  • Kind of project (new building; addition; renovation, etc.);
  • Estimated cost of project;
  • Expected start date for construction.
  • Even if you have already contracted with an architect or builder, I’d like to know about your plans.

Please contact me immediately so I can compile a list.

Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0601
Tel: (802) 828-3265
Fax: (802) 828-2199

ALA Office of Itellectual Freedom looking for challenged books

"OIF Seeks Reports of Book Challenges in 2008"

With the end of the year approaching, the Office for Intellectual
Freedom will be compiling our yearly list of most frequently challenged
books. We collect information for our challenge database from newspapers
and reports submitted by individuals and, while we know that many
challenges are never reported, we strive to be as comprehensive as
possible in our records. We would greatly appreciate if you could send
us any information on challenges in your library or school from 2008.

3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant for ALA Annual Conference

Deadline: December 15, 2008

Members of ALA’s New Members Round Table (NMRT) can apply to receive a grant, sponsored by 3M Library Systems, which will cover expenses to attend the ALA Annual Conference, July 9-15, 2009, in Chicago, IL.

Want to read about the ALA experiences of last year’s winners? Take a look at the August 2008 issue of Footnotes at You will see how professionally rewarding attending an ALA conference can be.

Read more

Shirley Olofson Memorial Award for ALA Annual Conference

Are you looking for funds to help pay for your trip to  ALA Annual 2009 in Chicago? Apply by December 15, 2008 for the Shirley Olofson Memorial Award and you may receive a $1000 check to help defray the cost of attendance!

Applicants must:
1. Be a member of ALA and NMRT
2. Be active in the library profession
3. Show promise or activity in the area of professional development
4. Have valid financial need
5. Have attended no more than five ALA annual conferences

To apply, please visit:

YALSA's MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

This award honors a YALSA member for developing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. Winners receive $500 and an additional $500 for their libraries. Applications for the MAE Award, along with all of YALSA’s grants and awards, are due to the YALSA office by Dec. 1.The MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.
Edwards was a well-known and innovative young adult services librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., for more than 30 years. Her trust has supported many initiatives from YALSA, including the Alex Awards for adult books with teen appeal and all five rounds of the Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults project.
Read more

Library Journal Nomination Deadlines

Librarians, please note:

1) 2009 Best Small Library in America Nomination postmark deadline is Nov. 3;

2) 2009 Movers & Shakers Nomination submission deadline is Nov. 10;

3) 2009 Librarian of the Year Nomination deadline has been extended to Nov. 17;

The first award is only for public libraries (those serving populations of 25,000 or less). But the librarians in Movers & Shakers and Librarian of the Year are professionals working in any libraries, school, college, academic, or special.

Amy Howlett
VT Department of Libraries

ALA Seeks $100 Million in Stimulus Funding As U.S. Libraries Face Critical Cutbacks, Closures


Washington – The American Library Association (ALA) is asking Congress for $100 million in stimulus funding to aid the nation’s working families during the current economic crisis. Aid is sought to stem the bleeding of critical library services that help Americans with job searches, small business development, financial literacy and other essential assistance in hard economic times.

Public libraries are facing the most severe cutbacks in decades as budget shortfalls hit cities, towns and rural areas across the country, according to the association. From Los Angeles to Boston, libraries are cutting hours and services; some are even facing the threat of closure at a time when their support is needed most.

Read more