Politics

Libraries Clear First Budget Hurdle in DC

From Publishers Weekly:

Last week, a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to recommend level funding for libraries in FY2018, which would mean roughly $231 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act, and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.

The vote comes after President Trump in May doubled down on his call to eliminate IMLS and virtually all federal funding for libraries, as well as a host of other vital agencies, including the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

ALA president Jim Neal called the subcommittee vote “one important step in the lengthy congressional appropriations process,” but a development that nevertheless shows that “elected officials are listening to us and recognize libraries’ importance in the communities they represent.”

Ivanka Trump Gets Schooled by Librarians

From the Huffington Post:

When the first daughter tweeted about applauding librarians last week, she was not met with much praise. As we know, her father has slashed library budgets wherever he could (and doesn't seem to want to read any books).

Ivanka: This #NationalLibraryWeek, we honor our libraries and librarians for opening our eyes to the world of knowledge, learning and reading!

One of hundreds of responses:

"Defunding libraries as proposed in your dad's budget hurts hardworking Americans," the nonprofit EveryLibrary tweeted back at Trump, before adding, "Cuts to federal funding for libraries are absolutely unconscionable, cruel, and unnecessary. #saveIMLS #library."

There's a New Congress in Town

...and a new POTUS on the horizon.

If you want to keep current with what legislation each house is considering, don't forget the wonderful resource, the Library of Congress which will report what is taking place sans spin (unlike Breitbard, Fox, National Review, etc.).

Here's a particularly interesting bill in process, S. 65: A bill to address financial conflicts of interest of the President and Vice President. Sponsor: Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] (Introduced 01/09/2017) Cosponsors: (23) Committees: Senate - Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Latest Action: 01/09/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. (All Actions)

For assistance with your research from a Law Library of Congress reference specialist, ask a Law Librarian.

Koch Brothers Anti-Library Stance

Via Wonkette:

When you think of Charles and David Koch and their dreams of remaking America into a libertarian paradise, you generally associate them with campaigns to elect rightwing candidates.

And now they’re going after public libraries, because if people want access to books and videos and computers and children’s story hours and public meeting spaces, they should damn well pay for them themselves, not leech taxpayer dollars for the “good” of the “community.”

Donald Trump walks into your local library. What next? Librarians speak out

Reassuringly professional on the whole Not all the answers fit—my favorite outside-the-rules response to the hypothetical patrons was, “Webster’s Dictionary. Dropped from a great height”—and I would have welcomed more mention of ebooks and audiobooks. Still, most of the answers were reassuringly professional in the opinion of this nonlibrarian. My favorite was from D.W., a retired librarian and prolific commenter within the LinkedIn group:
From Donald Trump walks into your local library. What next? Librarians speak out
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New Bill Will Require Library of Congress to Continue Use of ‘Illegal Alien’ in Subject Headings

“The Library of Congress’s decision is blatant capitulation to political correctness — replacing the correct term ‘illegal alien’ with terms that are both factually and legally incorrect,” the letter, obtained by TheBlaze, read. “Simply, it is inappropriate for the Library of Congress to unilaterally replace accurate, legal terms with inaccurate, generalized terms in the name of political correctness,” the letter continued.
From Exclusive: New Bill Will Require Library of Congress to Continue Use of ‘Illegal Alien’ in Subject Headings | TheBlaze.com
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Koch Brothers Anti-Library Robocalls In IL

The Koch Brothers have finally launched their attack on libraries. 

On Thursday, the Koch Brother's super PAC "Americans for Prosperity" started robocalls against the Plainfield IL library referendum. They have targeted the library for defeat as part of their anti-tax agenda. "Americans for Prosperity" is good at quoting facts that don't exist and slinging mud at the common good. We need your help to answer this Koch funded anti-library smear campaign now, and your help in future to build a defense against their anti-library agenda. 

From Kochbrothers - EveryLibrary

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New York seeks smoking ban outside libraries

moking outside of public libraries in New York may soon be banned.

State lawmakers have introduced a bill to add libraries to the restriction put in place in 2012 that prohibits smoking within 100 feet of school entrances or exits.

“Today, I am proud to extend that smoke-free protection even further to include the entrances and exits of our state’s libraries,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, in a statement. He's sponsoring the bill with Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx.

From New York seeks smoking ban outside libraries

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Publishing Heavyweights Petition To End Cuba Book Embargo

More than 50 major players in the U.S. publishing industry are petitioning the White House and Congress to end the Cuba trade embargo as it pertains to books and educational materials.

Calling the book embargo "counter to American ideals of free expression," the petition — endorsed by publishing companies, authors and agents — says "books are catalysts for greater cross-cultural understanding, economic development, free expression, and positive social change."

From Publishing Heavyweights Petition White House, Congress To End Cuba Book Embargo : The Two-Way : NPR

Don't Panic Making Progress On The "Going Dark" Debate

We’re not being asked to choose between security and privacy. We’re being asked to choose between less security and more security.

This trade-off isn’t new. In the mid-1990s, cryptographers argued that escrowing encryption keys with central authorities would weaken security. In 2011, cybersecurity researcher Susan Landau published her excellent book Surveillance or Security?, which deftly parsed the details of this trade-off and concluded that security is far more important. Ubiquitous encryption protects us much more from bulk surveillance than from targeted surveillance. For a variety of technical reasons, computer security is extraordinarily weak.

If a sufficiently skilled, funded, and motivated attacker wants in to your computer, they’re in. If they’re not, it’s because you’re not high enough on their priority list to bother with. Widespread encryption forces the listener – whether a foreign government, criminal, or terrorist – to target. And this hurts repressive governments much more than it hurts terrorists and criminals.

From Don't Panic Making Progress On The "Going Dark" Debate [PDF]

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