As announced by AALL President James Duggan in the January edition of the AALL E-newsletter, in December AALL submitted a Statement on our Public Policy Positions to the Obama-Biden Transition Team. The statement articulates the importance of the public’s right to access government information as a basic tenet of our democracy; the need to preserve the historic balance in copyright law between rights of holders and users; and the protection of the privacy of library users and all Americans. The statement, which reflects AALL’s Government Relations Policy, will serve as a guide for the work of our Government Relations Office and policy committees during the next few years. Contributing to this report were Mary Alice Baish, director of AALL’s Government Relations Office, and AALL’s Government Relations Committee, Copyright Committee, and Electronic Legal Information Access and Citation Committee.
Our specific policy goals include support for the following:
- Adequate annual funding to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for no-fee public access to PACER
- A public domain citation system for legal information
- The enactment of “Orphan Works” legislation to allow libraries to digitize and make publicly available materials whose copyright owners cannot be found despite extensive and costly searches
- The repeal of the USA PATRIOT Acts Section 215 (the so-called “library” provision), which is due to sunset on December 31, 2009
If you’d like to learn more about the issues described in our statement and how you can help advance AALL’s policy agenda, please consider join other committed law librarians for AALL Day on the Hill: Legislative Advocacy Leadership Training 2009. By participating in this full-day Advocacy Training, you’ll have the opportunity to network with new colleagues, hear tips from experts, and best of all, spend the afternoon in meetings with your Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. AALL Day on the Hill will be held on Friday, July 24, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and registration is available at no-cost for members of AALL and its chapters.
With a new administration and a new Congress, AALL has a full agenda and we need your help to get our message heard on Capitol Hill. To register for this year’s Advocacy Training, please RSVP to me, AALL Advocacy Communications Assistant Emily Feldman. We look forward to seeing you in D.C.!
[Posted by Emily Feldman]