Today was Maryland Library Day as proclaimed in the Maryland Senate chamber this morning. Librarians came from across the state to participate in this Maryland Library Association event. The message librarians hoped to get across was appreciation for the support Maryland public libraries have had through the years.
Issues of concern this year were that there not be a permanent freeze in state aid to libraries and that the state’s public library capital grant program be maintained at the full funding level. Another issue raised by members of the Law Library Association of Maryland concerned bills in the House and Senate (HB111 and SB174) that proposed that counties whose codes were published on the Internet would not be required to furnish print copies to the Archives and the State Law Library and reduce the number from four to one for the Department of Legislative Services. The House bill was amended to specify that printed copies be furnished to the Archives and State Law Library and restored the number to four for the Department of Legislative Services. Members of the county delegation would receive notice of a code published on the Internet instead of printed copies though. The Senate bill was not similarly amended and so it was asked that the Committees accept the amendments as passed by the House
The day began here in the AACPLL where the Law Library Association of Maryland provided breakfast. Joanne Colvin, Pat Behls and Janet Camillo were on hand to represent LLAM. The breakfast program included a briefing by Gary Alexander of Alexander and Cleary of what is going on in the legislature this year. After the information packets were assembled and candy distributed everyone headed to the State House Senate and House chambers where librarians were recognized. From there the group spread out to meet with their delegates and senators armed with the information packets and candy.
The AACPLL acts as a central location where librarians can rest and recharge in between appointments throughout the day. The day ended with a reception held in the Miller Senate Office Building which provided another opportunity for librarians to thank the legislators for past support and talk more about the value of Maryland’s libraries. The Maryland library quilt was on display. Photos of the many libraries built as a result of capital projects hung about the room provided evidence of funds well spent. A double screen slide show reinforced the value of funding libraries.
All in all it was a long but productive day. The AACPLL looks forward to hosting Maryland Library Day again next year.