Category Archives: Advocacy

Going to ALA Annual? Talk about older adults and technology!

Roger Goldblatt, Associate Bureau Chief of the Consumer and Govt Affairs Bureau, FCC is assembling an outreach program for older adults to help them understand the relevance and opportunity of digital technologies and the internet. Through previous work with ALA (OITP), Roger is exploring a potential pilot between FCC and OITP to identify local libraries in several key states who could develop model programs that would inform the CGB in the creation of a playbook for working with older adults through libraries. Roger is coming to Annual to learn more about current library programs for older adults, including info on library outreach, special needs of the population, and program themes that resonate with older adults.

Roger will be at the Annual conference.  We have set aside a time in the Networking Uncommons (Sat 11-4) for librarians to meet with Roger and share info about adult services and technology.

Anyone interested that able to stop by can contact Carrie Russell at ( This is a great opportunity for Roger to hear from as many librarians as possible.


We are going to send Roger to two ASCLA/RUSA programs on aging Americans (Sat and Sun).


Carrie Russell

Director, OITP Program on Public Access to Information

ALA Washington Office

1615 New Hampshire Avenue, First Floor

Washington, DC 20009

Can this school library be saved?

Animated-Flag-ArizonaIt’s not fun to think about libraries being closed down; but I think we need to stand up and scream about this every time we hear about these kinds of threats! Advocacy starts with knowing what is happening – and that includes knowing the bad things happening in our profession. Then we need to take the next step and DO SOMETHING! If you want to come fill out postcards to mail to your stakeholders, stop by our office! If you want to call your legislators and tell them about the value of libraries, do it! In this specific library, they are collecting money and will take checks at the address below.

You have a lot of options in connecting the information on the value of libraries with funders and other stakeholders; but we need you to GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!!! You might try just sitting quietly in your library and hoping that everyone else will do the work to save your library and your job – but really, that’s not going to work. Read our Advocacy material, or email us to ask what else you can do!

(From the Arizona Republic, by )

“When I was a kid, I was always at the library.

There, I would find incredible vehicles of transportation to other worlds … “A Wrinkle in Time” … “The Phantom Tollbooth” … Hans Brinker and his quest for those silver skates.

I’ve been thinking about my old friends, Ramona and Henry and Beezus, ever since I heard that students at William T. Machan Elementary School may find themselves locked out of the library this fall.

Cuts have hit this poor school hard

Federal cuts to Title I schools have forced Machan to lay off its library aide.

Volunteers who work as reading tutors at the central Phoenix school say they were notified just before the end of the school year that the library would be closed next year.

“As a group, we felt very sad for the students,” one of the volunteers, Mark Landy, told me. “The library is the only source of reading materials for the majority of the student body.”

Once upon a time, before the recession and state budget cuts, Machan had a certified librarian. But that’s a luxury long gone. Now the K-8 school can’t even afford an aide.

Maybe you’re thinking it’s no big deal. The public library, after all, is only a few miles away. But it may as well be on Mars.

Machan is a poor area. The median income is $26,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the parents are immigrants who never made it past sixth grade and virtually all of the students qualify for a free- or reduced-price lunch. They don’t have books or internet access at home, and they certainly don’t have a way to get to the city library.

Library wasn’t just a place for books

What do have … did have … was a school library that served not only as a resource but a refuge. Suzanne Luna, who ran the library, brought in guest speakers like Marshall Trimble, the state historian, and Alberto Rios, the state poet laureate.

She organized book clubs and chess clubs and Wednesday tutoring sessions for fourth and fifth graders. She collected bicycles from Every Kid Counts, a Scottsdale non-profit, and gave them away to the children who read the most books.

Machan Principal Julie Frost is determined that the library won’t close. She just doesn’t yet know how she’ll be able to keep it open.

Maybe teachers can check out books for their students, she says, or maybe volunteers can keep it going or maybe somebody in the community has an idea.

“I’m not going to let it happen,” Frost said. “Our library is too important to our students.”

How you can help save this school

The school’s volunteers don’t want it to happen either. They’re hoping to raise the $15,000 it would take to keep the library open next year.

If you’d like to help, send a check — made out to Machan Elementary School Library – to

Save Machan’s Library, 24 W. Camelback Rd. # A533, Phoenix, AZ 85013.

Landy says all checks will be refunded if the group doesn’t reach its goal.

Surely, there is a way to keep this library open.

I can’t imagine growing up without “The Secret Garden” and “Charlotte’s Web” and “Little Women.” A world without “Stuart Little” and “Black Beauty?” Unimaginable.

Except, of course, to a child who doesn’t have access to a book.”

(Read this entire article here!)

Wrapping up the Minnesota budget session

Here is the latest update from the MLA’s (and yours!)  library lobbyist firm:

Session Closure

While the Governor’s line-item veto of the legislature’s operating budget means the people’s business isn’t quite finished, it is for our practical purposes.

  • The final Bonding bill, signed into law, appropriates $2 million for library construction and renovation projects.
  • The final Legacy bill, signed into law, appropriates $2.5 million for library legacy programming for the next two years.
  • The final E-12 bill, signed into law, doesn’t appropriate new funding for regional library programs.

If the courts decide against the legislature’s forthcoming lawsuit over the line-item veto, it’s the Governor’s desire to revisit several items in the Tax bill. Those items are related to commercial-industrial property taxes paid to the state, tobacco taxes and changes to the estate tax. He’s also indicated a desire to revisit the teacher licensure reform package passed in the E-12 bill.

The 2018 session begins at noon on Tuesday, February 20th.


Samuel P. Walseth

Capitol Hill Associates

525 Park Street, Suite 255

St. Paul, MN 55103″

Libraries stand firm in support of GLBT books


Macey Morales
Deputy Director
Public Awareness Office
American Library Association

CHICAGO — In a year when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) communities are facing divisive “religious freedom” and “bathroom privacy” legislation, libraries are working against legislating discrimination by fostering acceptance through the power of books.

The American Library Association (ALA), and hundreds of libraries will celebrate June 2016 as GLBT Book Month™, a nationwide celebration of the authors and books that reflect the GLBT experience.

The celebration is consistent with ALA’s commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect for all human beings, as well as recognizing the significant contributions of GLBT authors, with the Stonewall Book Awards, the first and longest-enduring award for GLBT literature, as well as its Office for Intellectual Freedom’s response to the threat of censorship.

“We are pleased to continue our celebration of GLBT Book Month,” said ALA President Sari Feldman. “Libraries play a vital role in connecting people with information and resources, and librarians serve a critical need by making the works of authors and publishers of GLBT books available to the public. It is important that these voices be heard, and libraries not only provide a safe space for consumers of GLBT fiction and non-fiction, but a safe place on the shelves for authors serving a critical need in our society.”

Continue reading Libraries stand firm in support of GLBT books

Day Eleven of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Wood photo.jpg

When we have some time, as we generally do over the summer, it’s good to take a moment to reflect back on our history and all the accomplishments we have made. This includes the advances we have made in our profession!

Today we look at an American woman who helped to create and modernize libraries in China: Mary Elizabeth Wood.

“Wood’s first major library project in China consisted of the establishment of the Boone School Library, and she acted as the chief advocate and director of this institution. Construction began on June 1, 1909, and was completed with the library’s opening in 1910.[2]The collection initially consisted of a mixture of secular and religious works, as well as photographs, with 3,000 volumes total in Chinese and English.[2] Under Wood’s leadership, the library rapidly developed, and within several years the collection had grown to 12,000 volumes total, with 5,000 in English and 7,000 in Chinese, as well as approximately 60 serial publications.[2]

Not content to serve only Boone School’s small academic community, Wood expanded her library outreach efforts by opening the library’s reading rooms to the general public and offering its auditorium as a venue for public lectures.[2] These lecture series, which covered “science, history, and current events,” were a major attraction, drawing hundreds of attendees in the area.[2] With the assistance of her student Shen Zhurong, who acted as interpreter,[3] Wood also started a set of traveling book collections of English works translated into Chinese for use in Chinese government schools.[2] Shen and Wood became focused on disseminating library resources as widely as possible; their “mobile libraries” expanded access to neighboring cities, serving a combined population of 1.3 million, and they even hired workers to carry books up to mountain resorts popular with missionary families.[3]

Despite these efforts, the general public reaction to library advocacy in China remained tepid, and Wood determined that the key to advancing the cause was the professionalization of librarians within China. Since there were no library schools in China at the time, in 1914 Wood sent Shen abroad to receive library training at the Library School of the New York Public Library.[3] Another of her students, Hu Qingsheng, was to follow Shen’s path in 1917.[3] Wood hoped that training Chinese students in Western principles of modern librarianship would spark a revolution of the profession in China, with American-educated professionals returning to share their experience and knowledge with their peers. Upon completing their degrees, both Shen and Hu joined Wood in her next endeavor: establishing a library school within China.”

(I have taught for many years at Simmons College in Boston, one of the library schools Wood attended; and her picture was hanging on a wall to commemorate her achievements!)