Each year, the ACRL Government Relations Committee, in consultation with the ACRL Board of Directors and staff, formulates an ACRL Legislative Agenda. Drafted with input from key ACRL committees, ACRL leaders, and the ALA Washington Office, the ACRL Legislative Agenda is prioritized and focuses on issues at the national level affecting the welfare of academic and research libraries. The ACRL Board of Directors recently approved the 2018 ACRL Legislative Agenda in time for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD), May 7–8, in Washington, D.C.
The 2018 ACRL Legislative Agenda focuses on ten issues that the U.S. Congress has recently taken, or will most likely take, action on in the year ahead: Federal Funding Issues Affecting Libraries; Network Neutrality; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); Access to Federally Funded Research (FASTR); PROSPER Act; Affordable College Textbook Act; Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act; Federal Depository Library Program; Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act; and Government Surveillance. Customarily, the Government Relations Committee places on the Watch List those issues that are not included in the Legislative Agenda because there is no relevant legislation pending or no legislation is necessary. In writing the 2017–18 Agenda, however, all the issues of primary concern, as identified by the committee, had pending legislation at the time of publication and were therefore placed on the Agenda. Consequently, for this year, at least, there is no Watch List.
Don’t forget to advocate for libraries in early May by calling or emailing Congress as part of ALA’s Virtual Library Legislative Day. Virtual Library Legislative Day activities will be held in conjunction with NLLD on May 7–8, 2018, which will be an opportunity for all library advocates to make their voices heard on a national level. Library advocates who cannot make it to Capitol Hill for the event can be a part of the effort by emailing, calling, or Tweeting their elected officials any time during May 7–8.
Over the next few days, please take a moment to register and then ask others in your circles — members, followers, patrons, fellow library staffers, and friends — to join. You’ll receive reminders to take action, along with talking points, email templates, and other resources to help you craft your message. You’ll also find a link to the live webcast from National Library Legislative Day, so you hear the issue briefing live from D.C. on May 7.