Maryland Legislation Attempts to Cut Funding to Circuit Court Libraries

On Monday, February 4, Janet Camillo, President of the Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM), alerted us to new legislation introduced into the Maryland Legislature to cut funding to circuit court libraries. Currently, Maryland’s circuit court law libraries receive a portion of their revenues from the fines defined in Maryland Annotated Code, Courts and Judicial Procedures Section 7-507. The legislation (Senate Bill 86, House Bill 247) would disrupt this revenue stream. AALL President Ann T. Fessenden wrote to Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Brian E. Frosh, Chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, to oppose this legislation. LLAM also wrote a letter to the Chairmen expressing concern. On Wednesday, a hearing was held on the legislation. Marion Francis, President of the Maryland Library Association (MLA), testified in support of the libraries.

On Wednesday, February 6, Mary Alice and I drove to Annapolis to join the reception of the MLA’s Legislative Day. Before the reception, we went to the Maryland State Law Library to meet with Steve Anderson, Director of the Law Library and AALL Executive Board member. He was kind enough to give us a tour of the library, explain the library’s collections, and introduce us to the library’s wonderful staff. This was especially exciting for me because as a new AALL staff person, I had never been to a state law library before! After the tour of the library, librarians Mary Jo Lazun and Rudolf Lamy led us to the reception where we had the opportunity to talk with some of Maryland’s librarians. This trip to Annapolis was a fun and educational experience and we are grateful to Steve and the staff of the Maryland State Law Library for their time!

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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