Association of College & Research Libraries

Washington Hotline

Lynne E. Bradley

The “First 100 Days” proceed with minimal support for li- brary programs at the fed- eral level. The “First 60 Days” have brought major rescis- sion proposals for FY1995 funds, which is a poor pre- cedent for the already bleak outlook for library programs in the FY1996 budget.

Library program rescissions pending

A consolidated rescission bill has been reported by the

House Appropriations Committee. The Com- mittee report is not yet published so no bill number is available at this time. The bill is ex- pected to go to the House floor March 15 and includes $34.7 million in rescissions to library programs.

Included in the proposed rescission are HEA II-B for Library Education and Training and II-B for Library Research/Demonstrations. The first helps recruit students to library science, especially in areas with critical shortages such as childrens’ librarians and technology, and minority librarians. The Committee proposal to rescind the full $6.5 million for research and demonstrations is not possible because $5 million of these funds have already been spent in two recent statewide fiber optic network awards (to Iowa and West Virginia). The remaining $1.5 million is to be awarded in May for a demonstration project making federal information and other databases available for public use by connecting a multistate consortium of public and private colleges and universities to a public library and an historic library.

Action needed: Every congressional office should hear from library supporters in opposition to all the major cuts and rescissions to library programs. Grassroots action is needed in both the House and the Senate. The Capitol switchboard phone numbers are: (202) 225-3121 for House offices; (202) 224-3121 for Senate offices.

A complete report of all proposed rescissions to the various library programs is available in the February 22, 1995, issue of the

ALA Washington Office Newsletter.

ALA disagrees with copyright paper

ALA and several other library and education groups have expressed concern about press and other reports that the recommendations in the final version of the “Green Paper” by the Admini- stration’s Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights will not be significantly different from the preliminary version released in July 1994. A February 14 letter from the groups to Sally Katzen, administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Informa- tion and Regulatory Affairs, and to Bruce Lehman, commissioner of Patents and Trade- marks, summarized significant points of dis- agreement with the analysis in the Green Pa- per, not only by library and education organizations, but by distinguished copyright experts and private sector entities. Lehman chairs the working group, one of several under an information policy committee headed by Katzen.

Electronic Transmission Right: Library groups argued that the Green Paper went too far in extending the exclusive rights of copyright holders and paid only superficial attention to the needs of users of electronic information.

First Sale Doctrine: The library groups opposed the Green Paper’s proposed abolition of the first sale doctrine for electronic information because it would effectively give copyright owners monopoly control of the secondary market.

The library groups requested a meeting with Katzen and Lehman, urged the Working Group to give full consideration to all the arguments that have been presented, and asked them to reflect these arguments in revised recommendations in the final report. Groups signing the letter included the American Association of Law Libraries, ALA, the Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors, the Association of American Universities, ACRL, ARL, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association. ■

Lynne E. Bradley is deputy executive director of ALA ’s Washington Office; e-mail:

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