Office of Government Relations (OGR)


As part of the ALA Washington Office, the Office of Government Relations (OGR) is charged with following and influencing legislation, policy and regulatory issues of importance to the library field and its publics. In coordination with its sister office, the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), OGR works to insure that libraries are consistently involved in the legislative and policy decision-making processes by:

  1. informing government of the needs and concerns of the library community;
  2. providing library supporters with up-to-date information on government actions or proposals;
  3. building coalitions with Washington-based representatives of other groups with similar concerns; and
  4. developing grassroots networks to lobby legislators and further library interests.

At the direction of the ALA Committee on Legislation, the Office of Government Relations covers a broad range of issues including, but not limited to: copyright, appropriations, library programs, government information and telecommunications.

(Draft Mission Statement 2001)

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Hot Topics

August 3, 2006

ALA submits testimony against Library of Congress cataloguing changes

On July 27, the American Library Association (ALA) submitted testimony to the Committee on House Administration regarding the Library of Congress’ decision to cease the creation of series authority records and treat all series only via transcription in bibliographic records.  ALA’s testimony voiced concern about both the fact that the Library of Congress’ decision was made without sufficient consultation with the broad library community and the direct negative financial impact the decision will have on America’s libraries and library users.  ALA also expressed concern about rumors of more extensive cuts in the Library’s cataloguing services being contemplated.

To read the full testimony, please click here (PDF).

April 13, 2006

Deadline extended for Section 108 Study Group comments
Due to a delay in posting the public roundtable transcripts on the Section 108 Study Group website, and because many commenters are busy responding to an Orphan Works legislative deadline, the deadline for submission of written comments on the issues raised in the February 15 Federal Register notice has been extended from Monday, April 17 to Friday, April 28.

The transcripts will be posted on the Section 108 Study Group website this week. The Study Group is charged with preparing findings and makeing recommendations to the Librarian of Congress by Fall 2006 for possible alterations to the copyright law that reflect current technologies.

February 17, 2006

On Thursday, February 16, the Senate voted for cloture (96 Yeas to 3 Neas with 1 not voting) on the PATRIOT Act renewal. Sens. Feingold (D-WI), Byrd (D-WV), and Jeffords (I-VT) voted against cloture, and Sen Vitter (R-LA) did not vote. Both Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) attempted to offer three amendments to Sen. John Sununu's (R-NH) legislation, S. 2271, but Majority Leader Bill Frist executed a parliamentary maneuver that prevented any amendments from being offered.

The action clears the way for another vote to limit debate on the bill Feb. 28, when the Senate returns from a weeklong break. Senators then could vote March 1 to approve S 2271, as well as the House Conference Report (H.R. 3199). to renew and revise the law.

See ALAWON Vol. 15, No.18

January 30, 2006

At ALA's 2006 Midwinter Meeting, ALA Council passed a resolution opposing the nomination of Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court. This letter, announcing ALA's opposition to Alito, was sent to all U.S. Senators on January 27th.

Archived Hot Topics

See all of ALA's Hot Topics on the Press Releases page

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Legislative Action Center

Try out ALA's E-Advocacy site!

Take Action link to Legislative Action Center

Click here or the logo above to:

  • Jump to ALA's Legislative Action Center
  • See what library legislation is hot
  • Send a letter or fax to Congress

We invite you to try out our new site today! If you experience problems with or have questions about the new site, please email Andy Bridges or Erin Haggerty.

And don't hesitate to pick up the phone, too! Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121 to contact your Member of Congress.

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Related Pages

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Related Files

ALAs Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee (PDF File)
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ALA's Office of Government Realtions home page