College & Research Libraries News

Washington Hotline

Carol C. Henderson

Deputy Director, ALA Washington Office

(202) 547-4440; (ALA0025)

HEA Hearing.If you’re coming to Washington, D.C., for Library Legislative Day on April 16, plan to stop by a House hearing that morning on Higher Education Act reauthorization, featuring title II library programs. Rep. Bill Ford (D-MI), Chair of the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee, will chair the hearing. Witnesses will include two from the chair’s home state: ALA President Richard Dougherty and ACRL Government Relations Chair Hiram Davis, as well as ALA Legislation Committee Chair E. J. Josey.

Software lending.A provision of the Computer Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990 (PL 101-650) allows the lending of computer programs by nonprofit libraries for nonprofit purposes, if a warning of copyright is affixed to the software package. The Copyright Office spelled out the wording of a three-paragraph warning, along with requirements for how to affix it to the packaging, in the February 26, 1991, Federal Register (56 FR7811-12). For further information, contact Dorothy Schrader, General Counsel, Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20559 (202) 707-8380.

LC Budget.ACRL member Katherine Mawdsley, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, University of California at Davis, testified on February 7 on the Library of Congress budget before the House Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations. A constituent of Chairman Vic Fazio (D-CA), Mawdsley appeared on behalf of ALA and the Association for Research Libraries. Because the testimony was due before the federal budget was publicly released, her statement did not speak to the details of the FY ’92 request, but thanked Congress on behalf of the library community for the 12 percent increase provided for LC last year, and highlighted areas of LC service to libraries and LC interaction with the library community. LC requested $359,962,000, an 18 percent increase. Librarian of Congress James Billington told the subcommittee on February 6 that half the increase is needed to maintain current services, including continuation of the progress recently begun on the 40 million backlog of unprocessed items. The other half “is needed to prepare the Library of Congress for the extraordinary opportunities it has as the nation’s largest information and knowledge base to mobilize its resources for new national uses in the 1990’s and beyond.” Examples include $7.6 million for new automation systems and $6 million for book preservation.

GPO Budget.Katherine Mawdsley, in addition to testifying on LC, also testified on February 7 on GPO funding before the House Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations. Representing ALA and ARL, she urged GPO SuDocs funding at a level which would support distribution of electronic information through the Depository Library Program, and sustain the current distribution of paper and microfiche. She also discussed the role of GPO in the dissemination of government information, the impact of new technologies on users and depository libraries, and the need for strong congressional commitment to retain no-fee access to government information for users in depository libraries. In testimony on the same date on the GPO budget, Public Printer Robert Houk said that all participants in online electronic dissemination services, including depository libraries, “may be required to pay a portion of the cost of such services to the extent allowed by law. Adequate controls are essential and limitations on free service access must be considered early in any arrangement to make databases available to the public through the depository library network.” Under the FY ’92 budget, the GPO Superintendent of Documents operation would have $28,126,000 available, a 9.2 percent increase, of which $22,616,000 would be for depository library distribution.

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