Correspondence from the Washington Office

August 26, 2014

ALA submitted comments to GPO in response to their recent call for feedback regarding increased flexibility to a regional depository library’s discard policy.

July 23, 2014

ALA sent a letter (pdf) to Mike Kruger, Director of Digital Engagement of the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Commerce expressing ALA's interest in the formation of their new Data Advisory Council and the importance of a librarian being included as a member of the Council.

May 22, 2014

ALA joined the AALL, AAHSL, MLA and SLA in a letter (pdf) to Chairman Schumer and Ranking Member Roberts of the Senate’s Committee on Rules & Administration, thanking them for their leadership in reporting the Government Publishing Office Act of 2014 (S. 1947) to the full Senate.

May 22, 2014

ALA sent a letter (pdf) to the House to express strong support of the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

May 21, 2014

ALA joined other library associations in a letter (pdf) thanking the Government Printing Office and Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks for hosting the 2014 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference April 30-May 2, 2014.

May 13, 2014

ALA participated in a letter (pdf) to Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States that urged him “to decline to appeal the recent ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that ordered the Executive Branch to make public crucial information about the targeted killing program”.

May 6, 2014

A joint letter (pdf) was sent to the Senate and House’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies urging them to “reject the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal to eliminate funding for Impact Aid Federal Properties”.

April 16, 2014

A joint letter (pdf) was sent to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee to “express our support for H.R. 4372, the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act, introduced by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Representative Walter Jones (R-NC)”.

April 1, 2014

ALA participated in a letter (pdf) to “express support for ending the government’s bulk collection of data about individuals. We strongly urge swift markup and passage of the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R.3361), which would enact appropriate surveillance reforms without sacrificing national security”.

March 24, 2014

ALA joined 15 other organizations in a letter (pdf) to Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology expressing opposition to Section 303 of the FIRST Act.

March 13, 2014

The ALA, PLA, ALSC, AASL and the Medical Library Association, along with 1,060 other labor, health, and education organization sent a letter (pdf) to Congress asking that $163.6 billion be allocated to the House and Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees for FY 2015.

 March 12, 2014

ALA joined with 32 other organizations in a letter (pdf) to President Obama, urging him “to expedite the declassification of the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) on the interrogation and detention practices of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)”.

March 10, 2014

OGR and OITP worked with the Internet Archive to file a “friend of the court” brief (pdf) in David Leon Riley v. State of California and United States v. Brima Wurie, two Supreme Court cases examining the constitutionality of cell phone searches after police arrests. In the amicus brief, both nonprofit organizations argue that warrantless cell phone searches violate privacy principles protected by the Fourth Amendment. In the brief, the Internet Archive and the American Library Association argued that reading choices are at the heart of the expectation of personal privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Allowing police officers to rummage through the smartphones of arrestees is akin to giving government officials permission to search a person’s entire library and reading history.

March 5, 2014

ALA signed on to a letter (pdf) urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move forward as quickly as possible to implement a Connect America Fund (CAF) mechanism for small, rural, rate-of-return-regulated carriers that will provide sufficient and predictable support for broadband-capable networks across all of rural America. In total, 37 organizations signed the letter including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, and NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, among others.

February 24, 2014

ALA united with 26 other organizations in a letter (pdf) to members of the House of Representatives urging them to vote for H.R. 1211, the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2014. H.R. 1211 is a bipartisan bill that would “amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to promote greater government transparency and accountability”. On February 25th, the bill passed the House and a day later was sent to the Senate where it was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

February 10, 2014

ALA joined with 23 like-minded organizations in a letter (pdf) to Director Holden, of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to petition for OSTP to conduct a public comment process on big data and the future of privacy.

January 22, 2014

The ALA sent a letter (pdf) to General Clapper, Office of the Director of National Intelligence to "respectfully requests that you reconsider the decision to discontinue distribution of the Open Source Center’s translations of foreign news media". The ALA also comments that "discontinuing the World News Connection (WNC) when the Obama administration is calling for increased declassification and transparency in foreign surveillance activities is counterintuitive at best".

This letter has also been shared with the Senate and House Select Committee on Intelligence.

January 14, 2014

The ALA joined with like-minded organizations in a letter (pdf) to Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings of the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding H.R. 1233, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2013.

“H.R. 1233 imposes a time limit in which a former president must assert any claim of privilege upon a determination of the Archivist to make available to the public a record of that former president. The bill also establishes processes for managing the disclosure of records upon the assertion of privilege by a former president, and grants to the incumbent president the power to decide whether or not to uphold any privilege claim of a former president, absent a court order to the contrary.