From: Lisa Manners [mailto:[address removed]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17,[masked]:26 PM
To: Patricia Pettijohn
Subject: State Aid to Libraries Update
Here's Where We Are At - Yesterday the House Transportation and
Economic Development Committee added $500,000 to its budget for State
Aid to Public Libraries. Chairman Rich Glorioso did this in order to
insure that if State Aid funding does not get restored before
conference, that it will be a conference issue. He also did it with
the understanding that State Aid is not likely to be in the Senate TED
budget when that Committee reports out its budget this Friday. At the
same time Chairman Glorioso increased the Library Cooperative funding
from $500,000 to $1 million. Chairman Glorioso helped us immeasurably
by taking these steps.
Appropriations Committees in both chambers are scheduled to report out
their bills in the coming days and both chambers plan to approve their
bills before the Easter weekend. We do not expect that State Aid will
be resolved until the Conference Committee process, not unlike last
year. But stay tuned, all of this could change in a moment.
We believe that most legislators want to fund State Aid and it is our
job to provide enough positive contacts so they know the public is
What This Means About Advocacy -- We need to urge advocates to continue
their activity but we are moving into an "ongoing mode" until
around the beginning of the third week in April -- Monday, April 12
when it will be "crisis time" again. At that time we will
ask folks who have already made contacts to do so again. This is a
good time to continue our work with TV and newspapers, networking with
community organizations, and encouraging county commissioners to get
engaged. Be thinking about what we did last week and what we will need
to do next time to surpass this effort.
Our Message -- Please, if you have not contacted your legislators, the
Governor and legislative leaders urging them to continue funding State
Aid to Public Libraries at $21.2 million, please do so and please be
prepared to do so again in mid April when the Appropriations Conference
CapWiz Improvements Make a Difference Now & in the Final Effort --
Perhaps the easiest way for folks to contact legislators is through the
CapWiz product that we get through ALA. We have been able to customize
it so that folks can now send messages to the House and Senate
Leadership -- not just their legislators, the Governor and Lt. Governor
as was the case earlier.
Your Advocacy Efforts Are Working -- We are receiving lots of reports
about local efforts and the traffic through CapWiz thus far includes
over 13,000 e-mail messages from over 3,200 people. We estimate about
an equal number have made direct contacts!
What Folks Are Doing -- Here are just a few of the activities that we
have heard about...
* Friends of the Library Networking -- Friends of the Library all over
the state have been mobilized by e-mail. We have received several
indications that this effort has been very effective.
* Getting Commissioners Involved -- More than a few folks report that
commissioners are writing letters and contacting legislators. There
are reports that commissioners in some areas are really taking our
* Picketing and Maintaining Visibility At the Capitol -- Many thanks to
Paul Clark and a group of folks in the Tallahassee area who have been
picketing and waving signs at folks coming and going from the Capitol
and talking up the media. Many thanks also to the folks who drove to
Tallahassee Tuesday to help increase our visibility. Paul reports that
more that 12 folks were sign waving Tuesday afternoon.
* Testifying Before Committees -- Yesterday Jamie Cutlip with Unique
Books who lives in Orlando made the trip to Tallahassee and spoke
before the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee.
Jamie did a great job! Cherry Alexander, from the State Library
Council also spoke before a recent TED meeting.
* School Kids - Classes and groups of school children are writing the
Governor, legislative leaders, and legislators.
* In-Library Advocacy - Friends of the Library are staffing tables in
library lobbies, displaying our poster and distributing our message to
the public. The poster developed by Bob Gorin and Mary Balint have
proven to be very effective.
* Personal Networks --Folks are contacting friends and groups.
* Networking with Statewide Organizations -- The Florida Association of
Counties has been working the issue with their members and county
lobbyists. Efforts to reach out to groups like the League of Women
Voters and the Mysteries Writers of Florida have been successful and
those groups are sharing our message through their statewide networks.
The Small County Coalition has moved State Aid up on its priority list.
* TV Reports -- Local advocates have been contacting area TV stations,
bringing the issue to their attention, and several stations around the
state have done reports. The Press Release helped too.
* Newspaper Stories -- Many thanks to the folks at Salter>Mitchell,
the public relations firm that did us the huge favor of distributing
our press release to media outlets and editorial boards. We have had
good coverage in all corners of the state including editorials or
stories today in the Gainesville Sun, Florida Times Union, Suwannee
River Democrat, and the Jackson County Floridan.
Please Keep It Up & Please Keep Things Positive!
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