FW: State Aid to Libraries Update

From: Patricia P.
Sent on: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 4:30 PM

-----Original Message-----
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 
behind them!

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 
process begins!

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 
issue on!

* 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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