ACRL OnPoint Chat Archive February 13, 2009: The New Congress, Library Issues, and You

(10:00 a.m Pacific | 11:00 a.m. Mountain | 12:00 p.m. Central | 1:00 p.m. Eastern)
The next installment in the free ACRL OnPoint chat series - The New Congress, Library Issues, and You - will be held at 12 p.m. Central on February 13, 2009. The 111th Congress began work on January 6th with the promise of change but also plenty of continuity with previous Congresses. President Obama took office on January 20th and has discussed appointing the country's first Chief Technology Officer. Get a preview of the ACRL legislative agenda for 2009 and spend an hour chatting with your colleagues about the federal library and information policy priorities during the 111th Congress and how you can contribute. Jonathan Miller, library director at Rollins College and the current chair of the ACRL Government Relations Committee will convene this month's chat.

Transcript archive:

10:54 jxmiller1 In a couple of minutes I will ask an opening question about this video from Stephanie Vance. Take a look. It is only a couple of minutes long. Vance on advocacy

10:55 manderson_ALAWASH Very crazy, but some good news so that is exciting. I am glad I could join you all.

10:56 jxmiller1 Melanie -- what is the latest news?

10:56 jxmiller1 Specifically for acadmeic librarians?

11:00 jxmiller1 If you got a chance to view the video, vance mentions three things:

11:00 jxmiller1 Economy, economy, economy
Loving libraries – values.
Citizen advocacy

11:00 jxmiller1 If she is right, then how do we work as academic librarians to get our message across?

11:01 lisa.macklin Well, many universities try to formulate their contribution to the local economy. It wouldn't hurt pointing that out to Congressional reps.

11:01 Kara_Malenfant In terms of concrete $? Or jobs created?

11:02 jxmiller1 Good point, Lisa. UNiv. make a huge contribution. Can we prove libraries do?

11:02 lisa.macklin I've typically seen it expressed in terms of concrete $, which of course would include employing folks.

11:04 amperry There was a working group at our university that included the impact of libraries on student retention in their retention evaluation report.

11:04 lisa.macklin Proving libraries contribute is a harder direct link to make to the economy, but we do have some stats we might be able to use in terms of supporting research, ILLs we provide, etc. that show how we contribute to the overall health of the university.

11:05 Kara_Malenfant amperry, what's your university (if you don't mind me asking)?

11:05 jxmiller1 I also think we do so much for people who are nto students or faculty, Federal Docs, public access, ILL, etc.

11:06 amperry Sorry, was late in joining - I'm Anali Perry at Arizona State University

11:06 jxmiller1 The one that struck me "citizen advocacy"

11:06 ChattLib Hi, I'm Beverly Simmons at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

11:07 jxmiller1 and the link to our Legislative Advocates program

11:07 jxmiller1 Our Advocates are citizens -- its a powerful model.

11:07 ekucooperlibrarian I'm Carrie Cooper at Eastern Kentucky University. I also appolgoize for joining in late.

11:08 jxmiller1 No worries. Join and leave when you need to. this is very informal.

11:08 Kara_Malenfant Hi Carrie. Nice to see you hear. No need to apologize.

11:08 arabhorselover1 This is Michelle Young from Clarkson University. Sorry to be coming in so late.

11:09 jxmiller1 How many of us online now are advocates?

11:09 jxmiller1 I am .

11:09 lisa.macklin How do you define advocate?

11:10 jxmiller1 For the ACRL Legislative Advocates program it is quite specific, see here for details

11:10 amperry I am not an ACRL Legislative Advocate

11:11 lisa.macklin I am not an ACRL Legislative Advocate either

11:11 jxmiller1 We are looking for more people to sign up. it is not too much work and can be great fun with a sense of accomplishment.

11:11 Kara_Malenfant If your inclined to take on this work and want to be recognized for it (and supported) then please apply!

11:11 jxmiller1 Ideally we woudl want at least one in every Congressional district

11:12 ekucooperlibrarian I am a legislative advocate, but I'm not very confident. I'm wondering if I should plan now to attend Library Legislative Day in DC?

11:12 arabhorselover1 I am not an advocate either. This program was not even on my radar actually.

11:12 jxmiller1 I certainly belive you can be an advocate for libraries without beging an ACRL leg Advcate

11:12 aclobridge I'm not an Advocate (yet?) either, but it sounds like interesting work.

11:12 lisa.macklin Do you already have someone in GA? We have been internally discussing how to advocate against the Conway bill recently re-introduced that could potentially undo the NIH Public Access Policy. I imagine that would be within ACRL's advocacy agenda.

11:13 Kara_Malenfant We don't require travel to DC for Library Legislative Day, to ALA Annual Conf or MW.

11:13 jxmiller1 Is it "not even on my radar " because you didnt know aboutthe program or because you are not interested?

11:13 arabhorselover1 I am also not aware of any chapters in my area.

11:13 jxmiller1 There is a chapter in every state right Kara?

11:13 jxmiller1 But you only have to eb a memebr fo National ACRL, not your local chapter.

11:14 Kara_Malenfant Not quite but almost: 42, see

11:14 arabhorselover1 I was unaware of the program.

11:14 Kara_Malenfant That's right. And we don't have an ACRL legislative advocate in GA (yet)

11:14 jxmiller1 Lisa -- you shoudl apply. teh more the merrier!

11:15 Kara_Malenfant And we do provide things like talking points on the Conyers HR 801 Fair Copyright in Research Works bill, members only webcasts on occasion, etc.

11:15 arabhorselover1 I am in the Eastern NY Chapter of ACRL but had no idea about the Legislative program. I should contact them I guess and see what they are doing.

11:16 jxmiller1 Again, you can apply directly. No need to go through your sate chapter, if you have one.

11:16 Kara_Malenfant In my understanding, lots of times the state chapters focus more on state level legislation. Although I do ask for one rep from each ACRL chapter to push out messages on our behalf

11:16 amperry I'm interested, but would definitely want to consider the program a bit more before committing.

11:16 jxmiller1 You can listen to me podcatsing about the progrem :)

11:17 arabhorselover1 CAn those of you in the program, talk about the actual committment, thinking in terms of time and also, knowledge you need to have to even consider it?

11:17 jxmiller1 ACRL and ALA WO offers a huge amount of supoprt in terms of when to take action and talking points.

11:17 jxmiller1 I think I spend maybe 1 hour per month.

11:17 jxmiller1 e-mailing Congressional reps, Senators etc.

11:18 jxmiller1 If that.

11:18 jxmiller1 I also try to energize my Florida colleagues and my campus

11:18 ekucooperlibrarian As a legislative advocate, I love the email updates I get from Kara. It's very nice to be prompted when communication with our legislative leaders is essential.

11:19 Kara_Malenfant Aww, that's good to hear, Carrie. Thx!

11:19 amperry Do you advocate on behalf of ACRL when you send emails, etc? Or on your own?

11:20 ekucooperlibrarian That's a good question. I usually use my institution stationary, but I mention my role as an ACRL advocate.

11:20 amperry As a state employee, I am not permitted to use state resources for advocacy, for example.

11:20 ekucooperlibrarian I'm not sure if this is the right answer???

11:20 Kara_Malenfant Right, so some people do this on their own computers at home as citizen advocates

11:20 Kara_Malenfant THey would mention their job title for identification purposes only

11:20 arabhorselover1 I am still trying to clarify what I can and cannot do at my institution regarding these matters.

11:21 amperry I see - and could or should mention ACRL?

11:21 Kara_Malenfant Definitely worth talking to your Govt relations or PR office. Will help at the very least to let them know what issues you care about and that you could be an asset to them

11:21 lisa.macklin You can always advocate and write letters to your congressmen representing your own views (not necessarily the views of your institution).

11:21 eliftbll2 yo

11:22 ekucooperlibrarian As a library director, I've used my position to my advantage. I've very careful in these situations, and I share my communication with the campus appointed person in charge of lobbying/advocacy.

11:22 jxmiller1 I am lucky enough to work in one district and live in another, so i get to contact two!

11:22 amperry oh, I didn't think of that!

11:23 Kara_Malenfant Has anyone tried/had luck ghost writing something for your provost or president? Any issue that the whole campus would get behind?

11:23 jxmiller1 One nice by product, is that this counts as professional service for me in P&T decisions.

11:23 arabhorselover1 I believe that my role as Director of Libraries would be very good and if my institution was behind me, it would only add to the strength of my position. I look forward to getting all of the information clear with my PR/Gov Relations people.

11:23 amperry This is a good point..:-)

11:23 jxmiller1 Kara -- yes. I got my Prez. to write about open access. he is a physicist.

11:24 Kara_Malenfant Kudos, Jonathan!

11:24 ksmith12 I have "ghost written" for the Provost on public access issues and given "talking points" to the university president. They are usually grateful for the expertise.

11:24 jxmiller1 I agree, it builds up the library on campus as well.

11:25 Kara_Malenfant Awesome, Kevin.

11:25 lisa.macklin For jxmiller1 and ksmith12 -- do you do this at the request of the administrators, or did you take initiative to bring the issues to their attention?

11:25 jxmiller1 I took the initiative, but I already had the relationships.

11:26 jxmiller1 The relationships really manner. On campus and with Congress. It takes time to build them up

11:26 ksmith12 Both. I have been asked on some occasions and volunteered on others.

11:27 jxmiller1 Let's talk about Open Access and the Conyers Bill for a monent.

11:27 ritesh hello23m

11:27 jxmiller1 How important is Open Access to federall funded research to your users?

11:27 ksmith12 Remember that administrators have a lot of issues coming at them. Sometimes one catches their attention and they ask, at other times we need to help them distinguish what is really important, at least from our point of view.

11:27 jillsodt With rising costs for publications, OA is becoming even more important.

11:27 ritesh any lady?

11:29 ksmith12 My university is very committed to the NIH public access policy, and interested in any other public access issues. We are meeting next week to discuss a response to HR 801.

11:29 amperry Not to mention seriously unstable budgets for state institutions

11:30 jillsodt Indeed. I have no idea what to expect for next year. Our state is in dire circumstances.

11:30 jxmiller1 The ACRL Govt Relations Cttee is drafting the 2009 Legislative Agenda and we have the following priorities so far

11:30 lisa.macklin I think it varies for our users -- for some OA is very important and for others it's not. That depends in part on their subject discipline.

11:30 ekucooperlibrarian My users are not informed on the topic of open access. There's real opportunity for me to help educate my users. I guess unstable budgets my provide a great segway for a broad based discussion on scholarly communication.

11:31 jillsodt That's the biggest problem it seems. The fact that they aren't aware.

11:31 jxmiller1 SPARC provides lots of resources to help with awareness

11:32 jxmiller1 As of course does ACRL and the ALA washington Office.

11:32 jillsodt Yes. I've used those in my previous job.

11:32 amperry They are great tools - there are just still the limitations of staff time and follow through

11:32 ksmith12 Jonathan, I hope you will continue to tell us about the 2009 legislative agenda.

11:33 jillsodt Not only that. Faculty aren't encouraged by institutions to publish in OA.

11:33 Kara_Malenfant And the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication offers tools for how to think through this programatically for long term planning of outreatch

11:34 jxmiller1 The Alliance for Tax Payer Access is also good

11:35 Kara_Malenfant I know Jonathan and the Cmte are writing up the rest of the ACRL legislative agenda now and it includes:

11:35 Kara_Malenfant 1. Government Information
2. Public Access to Federally Funded Research
3. LSTA Reauthorization
4. Orphan Works
5. Copyright Section 108
6. Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act
7. Network Neutrality
8. Fair-Use and Anti-Circumvention

11:36 Kara_Malenfant Is there one issue that piques interest for discussion now?

11:37 ksmith12 What are the prospects for Orphan works this term?

11:37 lisa.macklin I think the Public Access to Federally Funded Research is the most pressing. We also have a strong interest in Orphan Works.

11:37 jxmiller1 Ophan Workjs are in an "expoloratory year" with the Copyright Office, so we expect lots of discussion and little action.

11:38 Kara_Malenfant My colleages at ALA WO tell me we should anticipate sometime soon re intro of orphans works bill (last congress's senate version)

11:38 Kara_Malenfant I understood it's the section 108 that's in exploratory year.

11:38 jxmiller1 Oops. Did I mistake Section 108?

11:38 jxmiller1 Thanks kara.

11:38 jxmiller1 See how much we rely on ACRL :)

11:39 Kara_Malenfant Hope I got it right!

11:39 ksmith12 Was senate version of OW the good bill or the bad bill?

11:40 jxmiller1 Government Information is up there because of the impending crisis in the Federal Depository Library Program. Do you agree?

11:40 ksmith12 yes

11:40 amperry yes

11:40 jxmiller1 Care to say more?

11:42 amperry no, just that I think it's good it's on the agenda

11:42 ksmith12 Can you tell us how ACRL views this "crisis" and what it wants done?

11:43 jxmiller1 The ARL is very concerned that the Regionals are having to care for huge legacy print collections and there is too much duoplication.

11:43 jxmiller1 They may start dropping out of the program.

11:44 jxmiller1 It is much better to have an orderly and planned move to a new digital FDLP (whatever that might be)

11:44 jxmiller1 Than have the system collapse.

11:44 Kara_Malenfant ACRL supported the GPO guidelines for shared regional depository libraries in June 2007,and feels they offer the kind of flexibility libraries seek as they develop models for cooperation

11:44 jxmiller1 ARL represents the big libraries, but only 22 of the Regioanls, the rest are almost all ACRL.

11:45 jxmiller1 Also it is not just the Regioanls, but also the selctive depositories that are beginning to withdraw.

11:45 ksmith12 Doesn't that increase the pressure on regionals?

11:45 ekucooperlibrarian There is a meeting for library directors in Tampa FL in April to discuss the issues surrounding the Federal Depository Library Program. I gather that many ARL directors are planning to be there.

11:46 jxmiller1 Since it is just down the road, I am going as well.

11:46 Kara_Malenfant Also, re ACRL thoughts we were one of a number of library assns who submitted comments to GPO's for their Study of Regional Depository Libraries

11:46 Kara_Malenfant

11:47 lisa.macklin What is the change the ARL Director's (and others) hoping to work toward?

11:47 jxmiller1 Well, I hate to speak for them.

11:47 jxmiller1 But I think it is fewer print repositories. Not one per state.

11:48 jxmiller1 Greater focus on digital distribution and preservation of digital got info.

11:48 jxmiller1 You may want to take a look at

11:49 lisa.macklin So it seems that the tension is the time, effort and space to house and maintain the legacy print Gov Doc collections. And digitization of content isn't cheap (or sometimes even easy).

11:49 ksmith12 But more and more gov. info. is born digital.

11:49 jxmiller1 It is the FDLP version of a common problem we face.

11:50 amperry right - but preserving and housing current print collections is becoming more of an issue

11:50 lisa.macklin Yes, more current gov. info. is born digital, but the legacy print collections aren't being converted to digital at any great pace, are they?

11:50 jxmiller1 We have to plan for both sides ofthis equation

11:50 jxmiller1 access and preservation of print gov doc collection.

11:51 Kara_Malenfant When push comes to shove, regional depository libraries are self-funded and voluntary participants in the Federal Depository Library Program. So given economic hardship...

11:51 ksmith12 NO. My point was that the combination of fewer print repositories and an effort to create a digital depository program makes sense.

11:51 jxmiller1 and access and preservation of digital govt info

11:51 amperry :-) yes to all points above

11:52 jxmiller1 But recognize that our users are making less and less use of those print legacy collections.

11:52 lisa.macklin Yes, and maybe a collaborative digital depository program can grow out of these concerns and pressures.

11:52 Kara_Malenfant In case it's helpful, GODORT has linked many relevant documents here

11:53 jxmiller1 Just from this conversation, it is clear it belongs on our agenda. Agreed?

11:53 amperry like many "special" collections, govdocs are less accessible in print than other print materials

11:53 amperry agreed

11:53 lisa.macklin Yes, definitely belongs on agenda!

11:53 jxmiller1 We haven't atlked abou LSTA.

11:53 jxmiller1 How important is LSTA money to your libraries?

11:54 ksmith12 Before we finish, what is the future of 215 in the Patriot act? Any hope of change from the new admin?

11:55 jxmiller1 Kara?

11:56 jxmiller1 I have been scannig the ALA Washington Office for an update.

11:56 Kara_Malenfant Sure, we hope. TO borrow from the ALA issue brief:

11:56 Kara_Malenfant Since Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act must be reauthorized by the end of 2009, we know there will be vigorous debate and, hopefully, positive changes to this “business records” section that is often referred to as “the library provision."

11:56 Kara_Malenfant

11:56 jxmiller1 This administration obviously thinks differently about many issues, there could be an opportunity.

11:57 Kara_Malenfant So far it's be the economy, economy, economy.

11:57 jxmiller1 Thanks Kara. Note "215 of the USA PATRIOT Act must be reauthorized by the end of 2009"

11:57 ksmith12 I wi***** was so obvious that they think differently, but the invocation of "state secrets" this week makes me wonder.

11:58 amperry it's hard NOT to focus on the economy

11:58 ekucooperlibrarian LSTA is very important from my perspective. Libraries, in general, are poorly funded and federal help is extremely important.

11:58 jxmiller1 and one terrorist action will change everything.

11:59 jxmiller1 Maybe a good place to end is to remember vance:

11:59 jxmiller1 Economy, economy, economy
Loving libraries – values.
Citizen advocacy

11:59 manderson_ALAWASH As a reminder, LSTA is up for reauthorization this year.

11:59 Kara_Malenfant What does LSTA money help you do?

12:00 Kara_Malenfant We can always use good stories

12:00 jxmiller1 If you are interested, remember to apply as an ACRL Advocate

12:00 Kara_Malenfant One thing that legislators respond to is hearing the story - knowing what some seemingly archange bit of policy will mean for real people. So, we're eager to find examples from your communities on why this would matter.

12:00 amperry I actually don't know how much my library uses LSTA funding, but I do know that our state may lose funding altogether because of budget cuts to the State Library - and I'm sure that many of our smaller libraries count on that funding

12:01 manderson_ALAWASH States will be receiving billions of dollars from the stimulus package. There should be no reason for states to be making cuts now.

12:01 Kara_Malenfant On LSTA or any issue, it's critical as advocates to tell your story to your legislators. I remember a report from a year or two ago "Communicating with Congress: How Capitol Hill is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy"

12:01 Kara_Malenfant t said over half of Congressional staffers believe the form-emails they receive from constituents are sent without the constituents' knowledge.

12:01 jxmiller1 Good point. This kind of advocacy can also really help you get a much better understanding of how your library functions etc.

12:02 Kara_Malenfant

12:02 ekucooperlibrarian I need to be more educated. My state librarian, Wayne Onkst, could answer this question. Our state planning document is at

12:02 amperry manderson - come to AZ! :-p

12:03 jxmiller1 OK. It is 2pm here. I have to head out for a meeting. I really appreciate everyone who joined and contributed. Thanks.

12:03 jxmiller1 Bye.

12:03 Kara_Malenfant If you have an idea for another OnPoint chat topic we're eager!

12:03 Kara_Malenfant Or if you want to lead it, let me know

12:03 lisa.macklin Thanks for the info and update on important issues.

12:03 ekucooperlibrarian I'm originally from Florida, where public libraries are valued and supported. Kentucky depends on federal funding- the state and local communities are not as vocal about the importance of libraries.

12:04 amperry that's sad that they don't believe the letters

12:04 ekucooperlibrarian Bye.

12:04 amperry thanks everyone