Email or call your Senators Franken and Klobuchar and ask our Minnesota Senators to co-sponsor S. 3391, the Museum and Library Services Act.
Every year, nearly $200 million in federal library funding is awarded to every state by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In Minnesota, a large portion of approximately $2.8 million underwrites critical library services covering operational costs at the Braille and Talking Book Library. In addition, these federal funds are used for our state’s competitive LSTA grants.
IMLS can do the work of distributing funds because Congress passed and periodically” reauthorizes” the Museum and Library Services Act. It’s time for Congress to renew this important landmark legislation and library champions in the Senate have just introduced a bill, S. 3391. With just a few weeks remaining after the November elections to get it passed, however, those Senators need to help from their colleagues. The American Library Association wants every Senator to hear from his or her constituents asking them to “co-sponsor” S. 3391.
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- S. 3391 is a bi-partisan bill with broad support from the library and museum communities, and in Congress;
- S. 3391 highlights the role of libraries as community hubs, equipped to meet ever evolving community needs, including: literacy, education, lifelong learning, workforce development, economic and business development, digital literacy skills critical thinking, financial literacy skills and new and emerging technology;
- S. 3391 requires the use of data driven tools, including research, analysis and modeling, evaluation, and dissemination to assess and assure the impact and effectiveness of funded programs; and
- S. 3391 will enhance IMLS’ collaborative efforts by expanding the number of federal agencies able to fully leverage the role of libraries and museums in supporting and meeting the needs of Americans.
Our nation’s history is at risk, as more than 1.3 billion treasures held at public institutions are endangered due to lack of knowledge about preservation. Individuals also are not aware of the valuable role they play in preserving history through family heirloom, records, and photographs.
Preservation Week is an opportunity to inspire action to preserve collections—in libraries, archives, and museums, of course, but especially the items held and loved by individuals, families, and communities. Preservation Week activities will also raise awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing sound preservation information.
Individually and as community partners, libraries, museums, and archives are encouraged to do at least one thing, even if it’s small, to celebrate Preservation Week. Host a program, event, or display; put a banner on your website; provide a fact sheet from the Preservation Week website; talk to your policy makers and resource allocators about your community’s preservation needs. focus our combined attention and energy on preserving our information and cultural heritage in all collections.
Today, the American Library Association (ALA) joins organizations and companies across the country by participating in The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance. At the 2014 Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the ALA council passed a resolution supporting the USA FREEDOM Act (S.1599/H.R.3361) in Congress. The FREEDOM Act is a bicameral, bipartisan bill that seeks to end the bulk collection of telephone and internet metadata.
You can take part in this day of action by calling and/or emailing your legislators in support of the USA FREEDOM Act. If you visit ALA’s District Dispatch, you’ll be prompted with a banner that allows you to email and/or call your elected officials along with talking points. You can also use ALA’s Legislative Action Center for talking points.
For more information on this day of action and ways to participate, visit The Day We Fight Back homepage.