The American Library Association
has sent out the following urgent message.
Please contact Senators
Hutchison and Cornyn and ask each of them to request that Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Byron
Dorgan (D-ND) include the hiring and retaining of librarians in the $18
billion “Jobs Bill.”
The current draft of the
Senate's $80 billion version of the Jobs for Main Street Act does not include
librarians. However, the bill does include $20.5 billion for “Creating Jobs
that Provide Public Services” which includes $18 billion for hiring and
retaining teachers; $500 million for hiring firefighters; $500 million for
hiring police and $1.5 billion for hiring and training youth.
This bill could come up at any moment and it is critically important that you
contact Texas senators immediately and tell them to push the Senate leaders to
include librarians in the jobs bill. Don’t just call once – keep calling until
we succeed. Make sure to tell Senators Cornyn and Hutchison’s offices what
your library is doing to help people find jobs.
TALKING POINTS - “JOBS FOR MAIN STREET ACT”
Libraries play a key role in
getting America back to work again. Nationwide, the library is the only
source of no-fee Internet access for 71 percent of Americans. With more and
more job applications only being accepted online, the public library is
becoming the center of most American’s job searches.
State Library Agencies
reported in November 2009 that 77 percent of states cut funds that support
local public libraries, which has meant layoffs, staff furloughs, and forced
retirements. This has caused a 75 percent cut in services to the public
including canceled statewide databases used for job searching, homework
help, and cuts in 24/7 reference, which are used by small businesses and
Our proposal to be a part of
the $20.5 billion program to create jobs that provide public services would
not add any additional funding, but would give libraries a specific amount
to draw on.
The money would be used for
library jobs that are focused on assisting patrons with getting back to work
– thereby having the impact of assisting literally millions of Americans
find employment. None of these funds would be used for facilities or
These funds would be
distributed in a clear, concise, affirmative manner. Funds would be
distributed to states using a formula through IMLS based 50 percent on
population, and 50 percent on relative unemployment (similar to the
Department of Labor’s Dislocated Worker Program).
The Chief State Library
Officer in each state would be responsible for distributing funds to local
public libraries based on their local needs.
A minimum amount of funding
per library could offer one library staff job per building based upon need
and a maximum of five full-time staff.
Funds would be limited to
hiring back staff released due to budget cuts, recruiting new staff and/or
expanding staff services around job searching and employment skills
Sen. John Cornyn
517 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Sen. Kay Bailey
284 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
You can also go to
http://capwiz.com/ala/tx/state/main/?state=TX&view=issues#3 and click the
first TAKE ACTION button: Out of Work Librarians Need Your Help