Politics

Sign Your Library Up for National Voter Registration Day

http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/partners/partner-sign-up/
This free and easy program has everything you need!
Imagine if all your library’s users were registered voters? Well, on September 22nd, 2015, librarians have a great opportunity to offer a “program” to register voters on site complete with volunteers and marketing. A large number of libraries around the country will be participating in the event and we want you to participate too. All you have to do is go to the national website and click on the link to become a partner to allow volunteers to come to the library and sign people up. The NVRD will send you marketing materials, teach your staff how to register voters (if you go that route), and the volunteers will take care of all of the paperwork. This is a non-partisan effort supported by organizations like; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.

Signing Up is Easy
You still have time to register as a partnered organization and it’s very easy to do through their website. If you sign up before September 4th, they will provide training and marketing materials for free! You can then use these materials to start planning a voter registration event on National Voter Registration Day on September 22th.

What Will You Have to Do?
We are asking you to sign up as a partnering organization through the website. This is easy to do and requires very little from the library. There are a couple of ways that we are asking you to partner with them and get involved.

You can organize a Voter Registration effort on September 22.
You can allow their volunteers to set up a booth in front of your library to get people registered to vote.
You can simply promote voter registration and/or volunteerism through marketing and communication efforts.
Why Is This So Important?
Plan and simply, the more registered library users in your community, the better your chances of winning an election come election time. Imagine if every library user in your community was a registered voter that your ballot committee could engage with and ask to vote for the library? It is also so important that library staff, from pages to directors get familiar and comfortable with the political process. A well-trained and comfortable staff is a huge asset during your library’s election. You are still the front line on library advocacy and as such, those staff members are all, in a way, candidates.

Is This Legal?
Yes. And it’s basic library work. While it is true that staff can never tell the public that they should vote yes or no on any piece of legislation, especially library ballot measures, they can help members of the public to get registered to vote and give them information about elections.

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Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet

Facebook's Internet.org project, which offers people from developing countries free mobile access to selected websites, has been pitched as a philanthropic initiative to connect two thirds of the world who don’t yet have Internet access. We completely agree that the global digital divide should be closed. However, we question whether this is the right way to do it. As we and others have noted, there's a real risk that the few websites that Facebook and its partners select for Internet.org (including, of course, Facebook itself) could end up becoming a ghetto for poor users instead of a stepping stone to the larger Internet.

From Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Anti-Porn Activist Campaigns Against Niles Library Trustee

From the Chicago Tribune: Anti-pornography activist Megan Fox created a 2:30 video urging Niles IL residents to vote against incumbent trustee Linda Ryan.

In the video, which was posted on Fox's YouTube channel on March 11, she accuses Ryan of voting to allow child pornography on library computers. On Nov. 19, the library board voted to add content filters on adult computers that would block all nudity and pornography. At the time, viewing pornography was already against library policy.

During the meeting, Ryan was one of the trustees who voted against the filtering policy, arguing that it went too far, getting in the way of patrons' ability to access information. Fox used the clips from the meeting to suggest that Ryan would be fine with child pornography. In the video, she also insisted that American Library Association's policy were putting children in danger.

Running for Public Office? Pay Those Library Fines First

A candidate in the race to be Kentucky's next lieutenant governor was arrested Wednesday on charges apparently connected to an overdue library book.

Johnathan Masters, 33, a Democratic challenger for the office, was driving to Bowling Green for a TV interview when a Kentucky State Trooper pulled him over. "He said my tags were expired," Masters told The Huffington Post. "I thought he was going to let me go because he was real friendly, but then he went back to his patrol car and was gone for about 15 minutes.

"When he came back, he asked me, 'Did you take out a library book 11 years ago?'" Masters said. It seems Masters had a warrant out for his arrest on of the charge of “theft by failure to make required disposition of property," a misdemeanor when the property is under $500.

"I started to laugh, but he said, 'This is serious!' and he took me to jail for three hours," Masters said.

Masters was booked on the outstanding warrant and paid $100 bond to get out. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 30.

"I plan to fight the charges," he said. "I'm going to request a jury trial."

Obama Library Shown as an Outhouse in Norfolk NE Parade

From Omaha.com, a tasteless display during a July 4th parade.

Not the contest winner.

Parade float sparks political firestorm

A parade float that rolled down the streets of Norfolk, Neb., on Friday is drawing national attention and statewide debate.

The float featured a wooden outhouse labeled 'Obama Presidential Library', next to an upright figure in overalls.

Parade organizers said the float was one of the most popular in the show and received an honorable mention award.

Story at Nebraska local news station: http://www.ketv.com/news/parada-float-sparks-political-firestorm/26817664#ixzz36n4oShkm

Washington Post story.

FOX News story here.

Story in Nebraska newspaper.

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Inside the Supreme Court 'gamble' on same-sex marriage

"Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality," follows the five-year legal battle over same sex marriage that ensued after California passed Proposition 8. The book digs beneath the surface with personal narratives of those who had been the public face of this major civil rights case. Jeffrey Brown talks to journalist and author Jo Becker.

It's April 1, But Rep. Paul Ryan's Dismissal of IMLS is No Joke

From the ALA Press office:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a new budget released today from Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the House Budget Committee Chairman denounces the critical role that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) plays in supporting civic engagement, literacy and lifelong learning in more than 123,000 libraries nationwide. Rep. Ryan recommends that the federal government not have a role in libraries and that Congress shift the federal agency’s responsibilities to the private sector in his 2015 fiscal year budget resolution.

Today, American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling released the following statement in response to Rep. Ryan’s budget (pdf):

“We were shocked to learn that Representative Paul Ryan recommended eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the agency that administers the primary source of federal funding to libraries. Libraries depend on the support they receive from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help patrons learn new skills, find job opportunities and access reading materials that they otherwise could not afford. More than $180 million has been allocated to the Institute for Museum and Library Services through September 2014 to help libraries make information available to the citizens they serve.

Director of Queens (NYC) Library Under Fire for Spending on Office Decor & Having a Side Gig Too

Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) said spendthrift Thomas Galante’s undisclosed side gig — which paid $287,100 in less than two years — as a business consultant to a Long Island school district was the last straw. Galante also spent $140,000 in library funds on renovations to his executive offices. ‘I urge you to consider the interests of the library and its patrons and resign,’ Avella wrote.

The excessive spending was previously reported on LISNews .

Last year, Queens Library President Thomas Galante was paid more than the mayor or the MTA chairman, and spent $140,000 to renovate his offices at the Central Library. Meanwhile, Galante eliminated nearly 130 library jobs through layoffs and attrition over the past five years.

Story from The NY Daily News.

Tories torch and dump centuries of priceless, irreplaceable environmental archives

Links over at BoingBoing and Mefi. Many collections such as the Maurice Lamontagne Institute Library in Mont-Joli, Québec ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg's historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills, say scientists.

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