[Libs-Or] It's not too late to message your legislators for OLA Legislative Day!

Emily Ford fordemily at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 16:52:20 PDT 2013

Hello Oregon Library Community,
There were Librarians in Salem today talking to state legislators, but it's
still not too late. Please take a few minutes to send an email to your
state legislators and let them know what Oregon librarians think and the
Oregon library community values.
Don't know who are your state legislators? Don't worry. You can find out on
the state legislature's web site: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

I've pasted all of the templates below for your reference.

Happy advocacy-ing!


Information Literacy Template:


I am writing today to ask you to support the critical role school and
academic libraries play in Oregon’s K-20 educational curriculum.

Information literacy—a term used by libraries to describe students’
abilities identify, evaluate, and use information that is useful,
meaningful, and accurate—is just as important to Oregon’s students as
reading, writing, math and science. Information literacyis central to
student success from kindergarten through graduate school. Students who
areinformation literate become successful members of our communities and of
the work force.

Yet, school and academic libraries face challenges to providing information
literacyinstruction and services in K-20 education. Funding cuts in
education have eliminated many professional librarian positions, replacing
them with library staff that is not trained as librarians; and limited use
of accountability standards among schools provide it difficult to create
and maintain strong library and information literacy programs. Moreover,
the State and our colleges and universities need to continuously and
systematically assess howinformation literacy is achieved beyond 12th grade.

Research shows that investing in information literacy as a critical skill
increases student achievement and improves education for all students. As a
result, students will be better able to engage in civic and work life.
Information literacy is critical in closing the digital divide among
citizens and plays a leading role in reducing equities in our society.

I urge you to support school and academic libraries by:

   - making library funding a priority;
   - pushing for school use of accountability standards for information
   literacy programs;
   - and asking the State, colleges and universities to systematically
   assess information literacy programs and achievements beyond the 12th grade.

As a librarian and as your constituent, I have seen the negative impact
that decreased funding for libraries has on Oregon’s students. Your support
would mean that librarians, like me, would be able to better help Oregon’s
students succeed as Oregon citizens.

Thank you for your time.


Ready to Read Template:
Dear _________________,

I am writing today to ask you to support Oregon State Library’s Ready to
Read Grant Program.

The Ready to Ready Grant Program was created by the Legislature in 1993 to
improve library services to children. Since then, public libraries
throughout Oregon have usedReady to Read grants to help children discover
the joy of reading and the power of literacy. These grants have been
primarily used to promote early literacy. If increased by the amount of
$229,000, these grants would extend coverage to support literacy efforts
for all youth, through 17 years.

Ready to Read is a pivotal program for Oregon. Our children are not meeting
benchmark goals for readiness in learning by kindergarten, nor are they
reaching reading proficiency by 3rd grade. Children who start school
reading or Ready to Read will perform better than those who do not.

Public libraries are the only resources in most Oregon communities that
offer literacy programs for every resident without regard to demographic
characteristics.  Ready to Readgrants are the only State General Fund
program directly supporting Oregon’s public libraries.  The cost of the
program at $1 per child would be $1.75 million. The current funding is
equivalent to 80¢ per child.  In 2012, each $1 of state funds leveraged $
1.44 in local funds.

I urge you to support HB 5022, which will aid children and families in our

For more information about the Oregon State Library’s Ready to Read Grant
Program please visit its 2011-2012 Annual Report, downloadable online at:

As a librarian and as your constituent, I urge you to support HB 5022. Your
support would mean that public librarians would be able to better help
children achieve a love of readingand to discover the power of literacy.

Thank you for your time.


Employee Privacy Rights Template:

Dear ___________,

I am writing today to ask you to support individuals’ rights to privacy on
social media.

Libraries and librarians value free expression and privacy. As a librarian
I value them, too. There are currently two bills under consideration in the
Oregon State Legislature related toprivacy. Both are preventive measures
that would ensure employee privacy protections on social media.

Libraries and librarians are engaging in *digital
* initiatives, of which social media education and privacy are a part.
Digital literacy is “the ability to use information and communication
technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information
requiring both cognitive and technical skills” (American Library
Association). We are increasingly aware of how technology is changing
libraries, the services we provide, and the issue we address. Moreover, as
libraries work to support job seekers and the unemployed, they are on the
front lines of social media privacy issues.

I urge you to support individuals’ rights to privacy by:

   - Supporting HB 2654/SB 344.

As a librarian, your constituent, and a social media user, I would rest
assured knowing that my communication on social media sites was protected
from employers’ inquiries.

Thank you for your time.


Equitable Access to Legal Information Template:


Today I am writing to ask you to support equitable access to legal
information for all Oregonians.

Since 1907, county law libraries in Oregon have been funded by a percentage
of court filing fees. In 2011 the Legislature passed HB 2710, part of which
changed the way counties received funding for mediation/conciliation
services and operating law libraries. According to a December 2012 report
by the Business Fiscal Services Division, Office of the State Court
Administrator, the legislative intent was to provide a General Fund
appropriation that was equivalent to the historical funding these programs
received in prior years, to the extent possible given budget restraints.

In the fall of 2012, the OLA convened a task force to examine how to
achieve its policy goal of equitable access to legal information. On this
task force there was general support for centralized funding and
administration of basic electronic legal information resources, with a cost
estimate between $350,000 and $400,000 annually. This cost depends on the
depth of resources licensed and the breadth of access.

I support the continued exploration of a statewide county law library
partnership in lieu of operating law libraries on a county level. This is a
more complex undertaking as counties would have to agree to pursue this
option and funds would need to be appropriated. An adequate program would
fund the State Law Library to provide service to these counties through
dedicated funds for staff to develop tools, train local providers and offer
virtual reference.

I urge you to equitable access to legal information for all Oregonians by:

   - Supporting appropriations in HB 5016 for the State Library to license
   and manage electronic legal information resources to be made accessible to
   as many as possible.

If legislation comes to the Senate or to any of your committees, please
know that librarians in Oregon support equitable access to legal
information for all Oregonians.

As a librarian and as your constituent, I have seen the difficulty the
public has in accessing legal information. This solution would allow me to
better help library patrons, and provide more equitable access to legal
information for all Oregonians.

Thank you for your time.

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