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Library Day at the Legislature Follow Up

All,

 Thank you to everyone who managed to attend last week’s Library Day at the Legislature.  Although the weather was very uncooperative the contacts made will have an impact on statewide library issues.

 Keep in mind this is just the beginning. We must take every opportunity, and even create opportunities, to keep libraries on the crowded Legislative agenda. 

 The West Virginia Library Association Legislative Committee continues to work with Senator William Laird (D-Fayette) on legislation addressing the issue of stable local funding for libraries. Senator Laird chaired the Interim Committee studying the issue.   This legislation is still in “draft” mode.  It has not been introduced – yet.  You will be alerted through the WVLA listserv as soon as it is introduced.

 Meanwhile, there is much work to be done.  Every legislator needs to hear from every library about the impact of the proposed 9% reduction in Grants in Aid.  Be specific.  Tell them if it means fewer books, fewer staff, fewer hours, fewer programs.  The attached spreadsheet also available at: http://wvla.org/content.php?page=Library_Day_at_the_Legislature_2014 lists the actual dollar loss for each library. Every legislator needs to receive a copy of this document.

 Ideally every library director and trustee would carry the message to Charleston personally.  And many will.  Members of the Legislative Committee are committing to twice a week visits.  You are invited to join us.  But even if you can’t get to Charleston, you can talk with your legislator – at home – by email – by phone – by letter.   Here is the link to the Legislative Directory: (http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Educational/membership_directory_2013.pdfPlease do not be silent. 

 In addition to stable local funding and no reduction in Grants-in-Aid, WVLA is advocating for the establishment of a Library Facilities Improvement Fund (HB2592), school libraries and certified librarians in every school, and a simple majority for all excess levies.  Attached are notes that will help you prepare your “legislator speech” for each of the goals.

 Your voice is needed.  Please make sure it is heard.

 L. Ann Farr
Chair
WVLA Legislative Committee

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