[Libs-Or] Fwd: Action Needed on the Economic Stimulus Package

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 15:35:40 PST 2009

Yes, here is some National Legislative action for you to take.

It is easy to call Legislators, particularly from Oregon.  If you have a
cell phone and call them after Washington D.C. regular business hours you
don't even have to pay for the call or actually talk to anyone.  You can
leave a message on their answering system.  Of course you can actually call
during regular hours and talk with a real person.

You can find contact information here:  http://capwiz.com/ala/or/home/ and
you can use the handy dandy ALA provided form for sending in a written
response if you don't want to call.

And now to the main part of this message:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kristin K. Murphy <kmurphy at alawash.org>
Date: Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Action Needed on the Economic Stimulus Package
To: "Kristin K. Murphy" <kmurphy at alawash.org>
Cc: Jenni Terry <jterry at alawash.org>

 Dear FLLAN members,

As you know, I often contact you to request information or to seek your help
in reaching out to Members of Congress on key library issues.  This time,
I'm asking you to get the word out to both your elected officials and to
your local paper.

For this request, I am asking you to contact your Senators.  Please tell
them that public libraries need to be included in the economic stimulus
package.  More and more people are turning to their libraries to build
business plans, use free test preparation materials, and take classes to
improve their job skills.  Please ask them to amend S.1, Page 396, line 13*
*to read as follows:


(b) OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE- The Governor may use up to 39 percent of the
State's allocation under section 1401 for public safety and other government
services, which may include assistance for elementary and secondary
education, public institutions of higher education *and public libraries.*

Attached to this e-mail are two different letters that you can customize for
your region and submit to your local paper as either a guest column or as a
letter to the editor. One is written from the perspective of a librarian,
and the other is for a non-librarian. If you feel your local media would be
interested in running this piece, reach out to them by calling the newspaper
and asking to speak to the editorial page editor or someone in the editorial
or opinions department. Once you are on the phone with them, talk about the
issue and why their readers would care. Ask if you may e-mail your article,
so that the paper may consider it. Feel free to call the ALA Washington
Office Press Officer, Jenni Terry, at 202.628.8410 to discuss how you can
pursue this. We would be happy to provide additional talking points and


*How libraries help Americans struggling in this hard economic time:*

   - Every day across the country, libraries are meeting the needs of their
   communities by providing a broad range of services for people of all ages
   and backgrounds.
   - The public library plays an even more important role as Americans face
   tough economic times. Patrons are visiting their library for more than
   borrowing free books, movies, CDs and attending free reading programs.
   - Nationwide, recent statistics show that last year, libraries hosted
   more than 1.3 billion visits and circulated more than 2 billion items.
   Studies have shown that in times of economic downturn, libraries become even
   busier.   For example, foot traffic at Montgomery County (Maryland)
   libraries is up 41% for the third quarter of 2008, compared to the same
   period last year. Participation in library programs for children and adults
   jumped 24%, from 75,000 to 93,000 last year at the Sacramento Public
   Library. Internet use at the Nashville Public Library has grown so much that
   9 of every 10 libraries in the county have been forced to institute session
   time limits on their computers to meet demand.
   - Libraries offer their communities access to computers and the Internet,
   financial literacy skills, assistance with job searches, and resources to
   help small businesses.
   - Libraries across the country are providing free public access to
   computers and the Internet in some of our most distressed communities.
   According to a recent report released by the American Library Association
   entitled, "Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding &
   Technology Access Study 2007-2008," 73% of all libraries nationwide report
   they are the only provider of free Internet access in their communities. In
   rural areas, the role of the public library is even more critical as 83
   percent of libraries are the only free Internet provider. As a result, many
   libraries have begun reporting double-digit growth in computer usage in

*The challenges facing libraries:*

   - As libraries are facing a decrease in funding, they are expected to
   provide an increase in service to the public. Public libraries are facing
   severe cutbacks as budget shortfalls hit cities towns and rural areas across
   the country. Libraries across the country are cutting hours and services,
   and some are even facing the threat of closure at a time when their support
   is needed most.
   - For funding, many public libraries depend on local property taxes,
   which have gone down roughly 3 percent, according to the National League of

*The need for stimulus funding for libraries:*

   - Libraries provide an impressive array of services that are critical to
   the communities they serve, but the underlying support needed to maintain
   and improve these services has been lagging for many U.S. public libraries.
   - ALA's recommendation for stimulus funding seeks support for basic
   library services across the country as well as specialized assistance to
   help Americans deal with the current economic crisis and get America back to

*How stimulus funding would be used:*

   - Develop national license for electronic employment aids, including
   resume writing and practice certification tests
   - Expand critical employment activities and services such as resume
   development, job bank web searches and career planning workshops, and skills
   - Reinstate or supplement evening and weekend hours of operation at
   libraries to provide the greatest possible access to services;
   - Acquire additional resources and materials to help keep up with
   increased demand for economic services nationwide.
   - Build and renovate library buildings

As always, thank you.  A strong grassroots effort on the economic stimulus
package will increase our chances that libraries receive the necessary funds
to continue providing exceptional services to our communities.



Diedre Conkling
diedre08 at gmail.com
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