Advocacy: The 2017 MLA/ITEM Legislative Platform

Do you need some suggestions on important ideas to talk about with your legislators and other stakeholders? We have them right here! Remember: Legislative Day is Feb. 22. If you can’t attend in person, send an email to be sure your legislator knows about the important work you are doing in libraries!!

The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and the Information
and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) support state funding for the following programs that sustain library services in Minnesota:

1. Basic funding for libraries

  •  Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS): increased funding from $13.57 million to $16.57 million annually with a corresponding formula change to provide stable funding for all regional public library systems across the state
  • Multicounty Multitype Library Support: increased funding from $1.3 million to $2 million annually to support communication, resource sharing, staff development, and collaborative programming connecting all types of Minnesota libraries

2. Legacy funding for libraries

  • Appropriation of a $4.25 million allocation of Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy funding for regional public library systems to provide high quality arts, history, and cultural programming in every corner of Minnesota

3. Broadband access across Minnesota

  • Minnesota’s libraries play a critical role in providing convenient, reliable broadband access to enhance economic development, college career readiness, and e-government services. K-12 schools use media-rich online educational content to support and enhance their learning environment.
  • MLA and ITEM support:
  • Increased annual funding for K12 Broadband Equity Aid from $3.75 million per year to $9.75 million
  • Continued annual funding of Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA) at $2.3 million

4. Bonding

  • MLA and ITEM support the appropriation of $10 million over the 2017-18 biennium for construction and remodeling of public library buildings through the State’s currently authorized matching program (M.S. 134.45)