Washington Hotline

Jazzy Wright

Washington Office hosts press briefing at National Press Club

On May 6, 2014, ALA hosted “Responding to the Second Digital Divide,” a National Press Club briefing that explored the ways that governments, schools, and communities can better support libraries in bridging the growing skills-based digital divide. Panel leaders detailed effective tactics to sustain and improve Internet accessibility in libraries and discuss future directions for public access to information.

Libraries matter: Use videos to advocate for libraries

Weeks before the start of National Library Legislative Day, ALA’s Washington Office launched “Libraries Matter,” a series of videos showcasing the ways libraries use federal funding to support early literacy, high-speed Internet access, small business owners, and new citizens. Library supporters can use the videos to demonstrate the value of federal funding programs, such as the Library Services and Technology Act, to legislators, decision-makers, and community leaders.

Washington Office welcomes Eisgrau

On April 28, a former Washington Office colleague, Adam Eisgrau, returned to ALA. He is a veteran intellectual property and privacy policy lobbyist and joined the ALA’s copyright and cybersecurity advocacy efforts to increase visibility for library issues on a national level. As Congress takes renewed interest in copyright law, cybersecurity measures, and surveillance reform, Eisgrau will use his extensive background on copyright and privacy issues to increase the association’s presence in Washington and educate lawmakers on the issues libraries face in championing the information rights and needs of the public.

Hundreds gather for 40th annual National Library Legislative Day

Hundreds of library supporters from across the country met with their members of Congress from May 5–6, 2014, to advocate for library funding during ALA’s 40th annual National Library Legislative Day. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) jumpstarted the event by addressing library advocates at the opening briefing, which took place on Monday, May 5, 2014, at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Washington Office submits comments on IAL

On April 1, 2014, the ALA Washington Office submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant program. IAL was funded in FY 2014 at $25 million and is a competitive grant program where, by law, a minimum of half of this money must go to low-income schools to update and maintain their school libraries. The rest of the money goes to national nonprofits that work for childhood literacy.

Neal represents libraries at copyright hearing

In early April, the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held a hearing entitled, “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works.” The hearing convened a panel of witnesses representing both the content and user communities to discuss a variety of copyright issues, including orphan works, mass digitization, and specific provisions of the Copyright Act that concern preservation and deteriorating works. Neal’s statement discussed fair use in the context of library preservation, the relationship between fair use and the library exceptions language of Section 108 of the Copyright Act, and the issue of orphan works. His statement was endorsed by the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), which includes ALA, Association of Research Libraries, and ACRL. LCA also submitted a statement to the subcommittee.

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