November Issue of the Washington E-Bulletin

November 30, 2011

The November issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is now available on AALLNET. Here is the Table of Contents:


  • Submit Your Nominations for the 2012 Public Access to Government Information and Oakley Advocacy Awards
  • Spectrum Article Highlights Effective Advocacy Methods


  • Update on the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act
  • AALL’s Bill Tracking Chart
  • Government Relations Committee Adds to Collection of Advocacy One-Pagers
  • Senate Rejects Anti-Net Neutrality Measure
  • President Obama Issues New Memorandum on Records Management
  • New Registry of “Controlled Unclassified Information” Aims to Standardize Markings

FREE TIME WELL SPENT: Further Reading and Resources for the Info Policy Junkie

  • Nixon Library Releases Grand Jury Testimony
  • CRS Report on Privacy and Civil Liberties Board
  • 2011 Wickersham Award Winner Justice John Paul Stevens Interview on YouTube
  • Virtual Tour of the Law Library of Congress Reading Room

AALL’s Government Relations Office and Chapters: A Perfect Partnership

November 14, 2011

The Government Relations Office (GRO) relies on AALL’s chapters to track key legislation and trends at the state level. When an issue arises, chapter leaders are encouraged to contact the GRO so that we can offer advice, help draft letters or testimony, and reach out to stakeholder groups for support. In turn, AALL relies on our chapters to speak up when we need help influencing policy at the federal level.

As Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” The relationships that AALL and chapter members develop with their elected officials at the federal and state levels, and the expertise that they bring to those relationships, is the key to our success.

Our advocacy partnership works because it’s a two-way street. The GRO offers support when an issue arises at the state level. For example, earlier this year we coordinated efforts with the Dallas Association of Law Librarians (DALL), Houston Area Law Librarians (HALL) and Southwestern Association of Law Libraries (SWALL) on a letter to express concerns about a proposal  to eliminate funding for the Texas State Law Library. In addition, as our case study describes, AALL worked closely with the Southern New England Law Librarians Association (SNELLA) in 2009/2010 to oppose the closures of Connecticut’s courthouse libraries. Our coordinated effort helped gain more than 1,100 signatures on AALL’s petitions to oppose the closures and garnered the support of the state and local bar associations who helped us in our efforts to save the libraries.

The GRO also turns to chapters to apply pressure at the federal level where it is needed most. We draft letters for the chapter president to sign, send you action alerts to forward to your members, and ask you to speak up when an important issue arises. For example, we recently asked chapters to contact Members of Congress in support of funding for the Government Printing Office.

The partnership between the GRO and chapters is facilitated by Government Relations Committee “liaisons,” who are members of the Government Relations Committee that work with their assigned chapters to form personal relationships and establish a channel of communication between the Government Relations Office, Government Relations Committee, and all of our chapters. AALL also recently launched a new listserv for chapter leaders that will help us stay informed about what is happening at the state level and help chapter leaders connect with each other around shared concerns. This listserv includes Chapter Presidents, Vice Presidents, Government Relations/Legislative Committee Chairs and the Government Relations Office staff.

The GRO also offers resources to help chapters establish effective Government Relations Committees. AALL’s Advocacy Toolkit includes sections on creating effective Government Relations/Legislative Committeesexamples of letters chapters have sent to government officials, and case studies that describe — step-by-step — successful advocacy efforts at the state level. In addition, the GRO and Government Relations Committee participate in an annual Chapter Leadership Roundtable: Government Relations at AALL’s Annual Meeting to discuss the latest issues with chapter members.

To get more involved in your chapter’s advocacy efforts, contact your chapter’s Government Relations Committee Chair. To start a new committee, please email AALL’s Interim Director of Government Relations Emily Feltren. Your contributions will make a difference!

Senate Rejects Net Neutrality Measure

November 10, 2011

In a victory for net neutrality, the Senate today voted against S.J. Res 6, the resolution that would have overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s recent net neutrality rules. Thank you to all of you who called your Senators to urge them to vote No on this problematic resolution!

Earlier in the week, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) reiterating President Obama’s support for net neutrality and pledging that the President would veto S.J. Res 6 if it came to his desk. The SAP states:

Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation’s economic recovery. It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.

The Senate voted 52-46, along party lines. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) did not vote.

The FCC’s rules are scheduled to take effect on November 20, but several pending lawsuits may delay their implementation. We will keep you updated as developments occur.

Contact Your Senators NOW – Ask Them to Vote NO on Net Neutrality Resolution, S.J. Res 6

November 7, 2011

[This post was updated on November 8]

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a resolution of disapproval, S.J. Res 6, which would repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules and strip the FCC of its authority to implement net neutrality.

Please call your Senators today and ask them to vote NO on S.J. Res 6. Because of the short notice, it is important that you call, rather than email, your Senators. The Government Relations Committee and Government Relations Office have posted a new one-pager on why net neutrality matters to law libraries.

The House passed an identical resolution (H.J. Res 37) in April. The FCC’s net neutrality rules are set to take effect on November 20. It is very important that you contact your Senators now to ask them to vote NO on S.J. Res 6. The vote is expected to be very close, so your calls will make a difference.

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