Office of Government Relations

Helping library patrons become citizens

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As governments continue to increase their use of digital technologies to provide services, libraries serve as essential community anchors that link people to government services and information and promote civic engagement. Join government experts at the 2013 Annual American Library Association Conference to learn how a newly launched website (www.libegov.org) can help librarians serve the e-government needs of their communities.

ALA joins others to support Treaty for the Blind

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Library Association supports the Treaty for the Blind, a treaty that would allow the lending of accessible content to print-disabled people around the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference that will finalize the treaty begins in Morocco on June 17, 2013.

'Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1'

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Is your library prepared to deal with the rush of patrons who will need help completing Affordable Care Act health form applications this year? In October, library patrons are expected to come to libraries in great numbers to learn about new insurance requirements and options available. Libraries will need to know about the resources that will help library patrons.

'The Census, Your Patrons and the DataFerrett'

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As governments continue to increase their use of digital technologies, how can your patrons use census figures which are now available? On Saturday, June 29, 2013, join officials from the U.S. Census Bureau during the session “The Census, Your Patrons and the DataFerrett,” a hands-on workshop that will teach participants use Census datasets. The session will be held from 3 - 4 p.m. in Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Burnham Room 23A-B.

Susan Crawford to anchor the Washington Update at ALA Annual Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Susan Crawford, telecommunications policy expert and former White House official, will share insights about national technology policy and implications for the library community at the 2013 American Library Association Annual Conference. Crawford will address conference attendees during the Washington Update session from 8:30 – 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2013,  in the McCormick Place convention center.

ALA joins others to demand civil liberties

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association recently joined 86 other civil liberties groups, Internet activists and authors to sign an open letter to Congress (.doc), calling for a congressional investigative committee, similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s. The letter is in response to the recent leaking of highly classified documents about the government’s monitoring of private Internet and telephone communications.

The letter calls on Congress to:

USA PATRIOT Act revisited

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Are you surprised by the latest revelations of government surveillance programs? Are you interested in the government’s need to improve the balance between individual privacy rights and terrorism prevention?

ALA calls for national dialogue to reform the nation’s surveillance laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) is, frankly, saddened that two major revelations about our country’s surveillance practices confirm our gravest worries: the government has obtained vast amounts of personal information about the activities, especially electronic communications of all kinds, of essentially everyone in the United States, including millions of innocent people.
  

ALA calls for accountability and transparency in nation’s surveillance laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) is gravely concerned, but unfortunately not surprised, at this week’s revelations that the U.S. government obtained the phone records of all Verizon customers for the last seven years. Leaders of the association again call upon Congress to provide more accountability and transparency about how the government is obtaining and using vast amounts of information about innocent people.

First education bill in decades acknowledges effective school library programs

Washington, D.C.— The American Library Association would like to thank Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jack Reed (D-RI) for their leadership in including strong provisions for effective school library programs in the Strengthening America’s Schools Act that was introduced on Tuesday. The bill is the first to recognize the role school library programs play in student learning since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was first enacted in 1965.

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