May 4-5, 2015 is National Library Legislative Day. Library advocates from across the United States will travel to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about important issues for  America's libraries.

Not everyone can make the trip to Washington, but there's still a way to make your voice heard by participating in Virtual Library Legislative Day. All week long (May 4-8), we’re asking library supporters to contact their legislators electronically and by phone about key library issues. Your personal, real world library experience is the key to helping legislators understand how the policies and legislation they are working on can impact library patrons – you know, the people who vote for them!

2015 Issues



We live in an age when knowledge is power. New technologies give us unprecedented access to information. They also facilitate surveillance, with the power to collect and mine personal information.

People enjoy the convenience of having information at their fingertips. But most people don’t realize the trade off. For example, citizens turn a blind eye to the fact that online searches create traceable records that make them vulnerable to questioning by the FBI, or that government agencies can track their phone calls, airline travel, online purchases, and more. In this environment, convenience and fear trump the fundamental right of privacy. And privacy has become so amorphous an idea that many citizens have resigned themselves to an...


As both chambers of Congress prepare to take up and debate long-needed surveillance law reform, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) bill to simply reauthorize the “library provision” (Section 215) of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2020 without change of any kind was met today by a storm of opposition from leading privacy and civil liberties groups with ALA in the vanguard.  In a statement released on April 22, American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young said unequivocally of S.1035:

“Nothing is more basic to democracy and librarianship than...


As the nation celebrates April as School Library Month, it's a good time to reflect on the essential role that school librarians play in our children's education.  A recent study in the state of Washington showed the wisdom of investing in school librarians.  As part of the study, Dr. Elizabeth Coker conducted a data analysis of a 40-question survey conducted by the Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) among 1,486 of the 2,428 K-12 schools in the state.

The results of that study, which was undertaken on behalf of the Washington Library Media Association, were summed up in a report,...

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Review of the Day

Winslow, Don (author).
June 2015. 592p. Knopf, hardcover, $27.95 (9781101874998).
REVIEW. First published May 1, 2015 (Booklist).

It’s been 10 years since the publication of Winslow’s