House Actions Benefit Libraries, Cooke Reports

American Libraries, July-August 1987 | Go to article overview
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House Actions Benefit Libraries, Cooke Reports

House actions benefit libraries, Cooke reports

The Capitol Hill scene loks good for libraries,ALA Washington Office Director Eileen Cooke told Annual Conference participants. She highlighted the House approval of the second White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services (WHCLIS) and the School Improvement Act of 1987, which specifically mentions school library media centers.

The House of Representatives passed theWhite House conference bill (AL, June, p. 411) by voice vote June 8, after a total of 178 members had signed on as sponsors. Since 68 of the 100 Senators are cosponsors of the Senate companion bill, passage seems certain. Cooke anticipates a two-to-three-year wait in getting WHCLIS funded, giving library advocates time to study pertinent issues and the possibilities of state and regional conferences.

On May 21, the House passed by 401-1 areauthorization for six years of 14 major federal elementary and secondary education programs. The School Improvement Act (HR 5, H. Rept. 100-195) extends and amends the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act (ECIA) Chapter 1 and 2, and other acts. It authorizes $13.6 billion in FY 1988.

Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.) pointed outthat "One of the greater strengths of Chapter 1 is the inclusion of librarians in the process of formulating educational plans and working with parents in this formulation.... The bold steps taken in HR 5 now reestablish the national demand for librarians to be part of the total grant application process and includes librarians as eligible representatives to the governor's advisory committee."

Marilyn L. Miller, immediate past presidentof the American Association of School Librarians, testified on ECIA Chapter 2 before the Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts, and Humanities July 16. Miller recommended that funding be targeted to school libraries and the training of school librarians.

* On July 9, the full House AppropriationsCommittee voted to restore $565 million in the U.S. Postal Service funding bill in order to continue the subsidy for non-profit mail. The subcommittee had voted to cut off the revenue foregone payments subsidizing the fourth-class "library rate," but the Appropriations Committee elected to maintain rates for libraries at current levels through FY 1988.

* The House voted in June to approveS. 742, a bill to codify the Fairness Doctrine as an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934.

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