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Archive for the ‘Library Legislative Day’ Category

Maryland Libraries and 2017 Maryland Legislative Session

Posted by Joan Bellistri on April 11, 2017

The Maryland Legislative Session ended at midnight last night and Maryland librarians can be happy with the outcome. There were two bills in the 2017 Legislative Session of special interest to libraries.  Both bills passed both houses unanimously and are on the way to becoming law.

Maryland Libraries – Reorganization of Governance Structure  (SB587/HB1094)

Under the current or soon to be previous law, libraries were a part of the Maryland Department of Education with K through 12.  Now there will be a separate, independent agency on the same level as the Department of Education and the Department of Higher Education.  Maryland will now have a State Library Agency headed by the State Librarian with a State Library Board made up of citizens appointed by the Governor. This way there will be an agency devoted solely to the issues of libraries that will ensure that funding intended for libraries is used for libraries.

UELMA (SB137/HB165)

The LLAM (Law Library Association of Maryland) information sheet states: The Maryland Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) provides online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book. It is the People’s insurance policy that official electronic legal materials are  authenticated, by providing a method to determine that it is unaltered;  preserved, either in electronic or print form; and accessible, for use by the public on a permanent basis.  This means that if a publisher of Maryland legal material such as the code, regulations or case law would cease to be published in print, the publication would become official and would have to be authenticated, preserved and accessible.  As long as the print exists, the provisions will not be activated.  However, if and when the time comes, Maryland is ready to make sure that this important information is still available.

 

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MLA Legislative Day Wrap-Up

Posted by Chi Song on February 5, 2016

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On February 3, 2016, Librarians and library supporters from across the state of Maryland gathered in Annapolis to take part in the Maryland Library Association’s (MLA) Library Legislative Day. The day began here at the Law Library with a breakfast provided by the Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM). During breakfast, Margaret Carty, Executive Director of MLA, and Denise Davis and Mary Baykan of the Legislative Panel of the Maryland Library Association (MLA) briefed attendees on current issues affecting public libraries in Maryland and provided talking points for library supporters to keep in mind as they met with their Maryland senators, delegates and other officials later in the day.

After the morning’s briefing, librarians and library supporters met with their legislators to discuss public libraries in Maryland and, in particular, the following two House Bills:

  • HB 138 – Task Force to Study the Placement of Library Services with the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland – This bill seeks the creation of a task force to study where the most effective place should be for Maryland public libraries within the current education framework as public libraries’ educational mission has expanded significantly since the current Maryland library law was written over 60 years ago.
  • HB 144 – Libraries – Regional, State, and County – Funding – This bill does not seek additional funds. Rather, it seeks to shorten the length of time to realize the full increase in funding support for public libraries that was previously passed by the General Assembly.

Later in the afternoon, Citizens for Maryland Libraries (CML) held its Annual Meeting at the Law Library. CML is a Maryland statewide network of individuals and organizations that advocates for libraries and library services. To learn more about CML, check out their website here. The evening concluded with the Library Legislative Reception at the Miller Senate Office Building. For more information, check out MLA’s website and the MLA Legislative Panel Blog!

Support Maryland Public Libraries! Marylanders are visiting and using public libraries more than ever before with 28 million Marylanders visiting a library in 2014, and more than 7 million people utilizing their public library to access the internet. Public libraries provide many Marylanders with their primary access to information services and technology. Educational opportunities at public libraries include programs and services for children to improve reading skills and STEM-related programs. Adult learners access continuing education at public libraries in a wide variety of areas such as basic computer skills, professional development and writing as well as job search assistance.

At the Law Library, which is open to the public, we organize and coordinate programs that connect Marylanders with free legal information and limited legal advice. This includes our weekly Ask a Lawyer in the Library program where people can sign up to talk to a volunteer attorney for up to twenty minutes about a civil, non-family law matter. Each month, we have a Foreclosure Clinic that connects people facing foreclosure with volunteer attorneys. In addition, the Law Library has hosted programs on personal bankruptcy and other legal topics. To date, over 2,600 people have received FREE legal information and limited legal advice on matters including auto accidents, bankruptcy, civil procedure, contracts, foreclosure, licenses, property, trusts and wills.

 

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MLA Legislative Day Tomorrow

Posted by Chi Song on February 2, 2016

Tomorrow, February 3, 2016 is the Maryland Library Association’s (MLA) Library Legislative Day. Librarians and library supporters from across the state of Maryland will convene in Annapolis to support and advocate for public libraries in Maryland. The day will begin here at the Law Library with a breakfast provided by the Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM). During breakfast, the Legislative Panel of the Maryland Library Association (MLA) will provide a briefing on current issues affecting public libraries in Maryland and provide talking points for library supporters to keep in mind as they meet with their Maryland senators, delegates and other officials later in the day. For more information, check out MLA’s website and the MLA Legislative Panel Blog!

Why do we support and advocate for Maryland public libraries? The majority of Maryland’s total population are card carrying library users, and these 3 million plus library users span every age group. Public libraries provide support, resources and educational opportunities for children of all ages with programs such as pre-school reading preparedness, STEM and coding classes for school-aged children and summer learning opportunities. Library users also include adults of all ages and occupations. Maryland public libraries support and sustain Maryland’s workforce and communities through professional development, job search assistance and resume writing. Public law libraries, like the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, provide library users, including self-represented litigants, with access to legal information and legal resources, which include FREE legal aid programs such as our weekly Ask A Lawyer in the Library Program and monthly Foreclosure Clinic.

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Maryland Library Legislative Day Recap

Posted by Chi Song on March 3, 2015

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On February 18, 2015, the Law Library participated in Maryland Library Legislative Day! Librarians and library supporters from across the state convened in Annapolis to support and advocate for Maryland public libraries. The day got off to an early start with a continental breakfast provided by the Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM). During breakfast, the Legislative Panel of the Maryland Library Association (MLA) briefed the participating librarians and library supporters on talking points and the key issues to keep in mind as librarians and library supporters met with legislators and other officials.

After breakfast, participants headed to the State House for the Senate presentation and the House presented. John Venditta, MLA President, and Irene Padilla, State Librarian, presented on the House Floor. John Venditta and Irene Padilla, along with Jay Bansbach from Maryland State Department of Education School Libraries/Maryland Association of School Librarians and Jim Rettig from the Congress of American Library Directors of Maryland presented on the Senate Floor. At the conclusion of the presentations, participants made delegation visits. That evening, participants took part in the Legislative Reception in the President’s Reception Room in the Senate Office Building.

Why do we support and advocate for Maryland public libraries? Over 58% of Maryland’s total population are card carrying library users, and these 3 million plus library users span every age group. Public libraries provide support, resources and educational opportunities for children of all ages with programs such as pre-school reading preparedness, STEM and coding classes for school-aged children, and summer learning opportunities. Library users also include adults of all ages and occupations. Maryland public libraries support and sustain Maryland’s workforce and communities through professional development, job search assistance and resume writing. Public law libraries, like the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, provide library users, including self-represented litigants, with access to legal resources and legal information as well as host legal aid programs such as our Ask A Lawyer in the Library Program.

Save the date for the 2015 AALL Lobby Day, organized by the American Association of Law Libraries, on March 18, 2015 and National Library Legislative Day (NLLD), organized by the American Library Association, on May 4, 2015 and May 5, 2015. Both national events are in Washington, D.C., and aim to champion funding for libraries and raise awareness of library-related issues. Participants will include library supporters, leaders, and patrons who gather to meet with their respective members of Congress. If you are unable to make the trip to Washington, D.C., do not fret, virtual events are also available!

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Maryland Library Legislative Day

Posted by Chi Song on February 18, 2015

Laws of MDToday is Maryland Library Legislative Day! Librarians and library supporters from across the state will convene in Annapolis to support Maryland public libraries. As part of the event, Maryland’s Senate and House of Delegates will proclaim today as Maryland Library Day. This annual advocacy event aims to build support for Maryland public libraries and to highlight the current issues facing Maryland public libraries. Library leaders, supporters, patrons, and advocates will meet up with their elected General Assembly members in Annapolis to promote libraries and library-related issues. If you are participating in Maryland Library Legislative Day, you are welcome to drop by the Law Library for an early breakfast and to rest and recharge throughout the day. If you are interested in learning more about Maryland Library Legislative Day, check out this blog post reporting on the 2010 Maryland Library Day.

Save the date for the 2015 AALL Lobby Day, organized by the American Association of Law Libraries, on March 18, 2015 and National Library Legislative Day (NLLD), organized by the American Library Association, on May 4, 2015 and May 5, 2015. Both national events are in Washington, D.C., and aim to champion funding for libraries and raise awareness of library-related issues. Participants will include library supporters, leaders, and patrons who gather to meet with their respective members of Congress. If you are unable to make the trip to Washington, D.C., do not fret, virtual events are also available!

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MLA’s Maryland Legislative Day

Posted by Joan Bellistri on March 7, 2011

On February 23, 2011, librarians from across the state came to Annapolis for the Maryland Library Association’s Maryland Library Day at the legislature.  Law Librarians were represented by LLAM members Jackie Curro, Pat Behles, Susan Herrick, Tonya Baroudi, and Janet Camillo.

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library has been the gathering spot for librarians to prepare for their day in Annapolis for the last few years. The first task of the day was to prepare the packets for distribution to the legislators. The folders were already filled with statewide information including the LLAM brochure.  Each county brought local information specific to their county to add to the folders. Circuit court law libraries were able to add information to the county side of the folders, too.  Bags of candy, chocolate turtles, and Maryland library buttons are also distributed to be handed out with the information packets.

As packets are prepared, a continental breakfast, provided by LLAM, is available.  Hannah Powers of Alexander and Cleaver, a firm that provides lobbying assistance to MAPLA, began the breakfast briefing by reviewing the issues facing libraries in the 2011 session.  Funding for public libraries in the budget will remain at current levels rather than increase as provided by MD. CODE ANN. EDUC. §23-503.  Although this will in effect be a decrease in funding, libraries are willing to do their part in helping the state of Maryland to recover from current budget woes. With public library funding remaining flat over the last four years, public libraries will have in fact lost more than 11 million.   Mary Baykan, legislative officer of the MLA Legislative Panel, provided those who would be visiting their delegations with talking points.  Librarians would not be asking for reinstatement of funding amounts but would instead promote public and school libraries.  Included in the message was that “over three million Marylanders have library cards; a recent Maryland poll found that Marylanders use and value libraries as an essential service and that public libraries have proven to be a life line in helping Marylanders improve their job skills; search online for employment; get an email account; and fill out job applications online, and improve resume writing skills.”

The group then headed to the statehouse to hear Maryland Library Day proclaimed in the Senate.  The gallery was packed as it was also the day that the Senate debate on the gay marriage bill was to begin. Those who were able to get a seat did find it a bit more interesting to remain in the gallery after the proclamation than in past years.

Librarians then formed into county groups and began visiting their delegations.  Some librarians were able to break for lunch at the Reynolds Tavern across the street from the courthouse.  A fitting location as it once housed the Anne Arundel Public Library in Annapolis.  The AACPLL’s “reading room” became the break spot for librarian’s throughout the day until it was time for the reception held in the Senate Office Building where was a good turnout of legislators and librarians.  The reception is another means for librarians to promote libraries to legislators but also for librarians to talk with each another. The day on the whole is also a great opportunity for law librarians to make connections with and support our colleagues in other Maryland libraries.

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