Washington Hotline

Alan S. Inouye is ALA’s senior director of Public Policy and Government Relations, email: ainouye@alawash.org

Library of Congress changes immigration subject headings

At its regularly scheduled meeting on November 12, 2021, the Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress, which maintains Library of Congress Subject Headings, announced the decision to replace the subject headings “Aliens” and “Illegal aliens.” The terms will be replaced with new subject headings “Noncitizens” and “Illegal immigration.”

ALA President Patty Wong, calling the previous terms “outdated and dehumanizing,” saying that the update “better reflects common terminology and respects library users and library workers from all backgrounds. It also reflects the core value of social justice for ALA members, who have been at the vanguard of this change for years.”

The Library of Congress Subject Headings are widely used in library catalogs to index the topics of library materials. The revisions will appear on Special List 21-11B. Headings on existing bibliographic records in the Library of Congress’s catalog will be updated as expeditiously as possible after heading changes are approved.

ALA Policy Corps Cohort III goes to Washington, D.C.

In early December 2021, Cohort III of the ALA Policy Corps met in Washington, D.C., for an in-person capstone to their yearlong virtual training. The policy issue focus for the session was copyright and licensing, with two members of the cohort leading the training: Sara Benson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Timothy Vollmer, University of California-Berkeley. ALA President Jim Neal (2017-18), who also cochairs the ALA Policy Corps Advisory Group, provided a first-hand account from his decades of being on the front lines of copyright advocacy.

The application window for the fourth ALA Policy Corps Cohort closed on December 15, 2021. New members will be announced in early 2022.

Federal FY2022 budget stalls

Congress approved a temporary funding measure in December 2021 to keep the federal government open through March 18, 2022. The Continuing Resolution funds agencies at the previous fiscal year’s spending levels until a final agreement on FY 2022 funding is reached. In summer 2021, the House passed a bill providing a $9 million increase for LSTA, while the Senate Committee draft bill called for a $6 million increase. Should either version be passed, it would be the ninth consecutive increase for IMLS and LSTA funding. The spending bill passed by the House included significant increases for the National Archives, Pell grants, HBCUs, and institutions serving Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Copyright Alan S. Inouye

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