Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
June 28, 2018
According to the most recent From Awareness to Funding * report, most voters (59%) believe that libraries are funded largely by non-local sources. Voters consistently underestimate the amount of local funding in public libraries, which averages 86% nationally. We need to do a better job of connecting local funding with strong library outcomes in the minds of our residents.

Indiana Library Federation seeks to increase public awareness and to advocate proactively. We can't do this without you. As you read this issue, please consider ways you can elevate libraries in your circles of influence.

* Graphic above - “Voter Confusion about Public Library Funding” by OCLC and ALA , From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018 ( DOI:10.25333/C3M92X ), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Small Actions Make a Difference
Advocacy for libraries requires year-round approach. During the summer, you may to build or strengthen important relationships with policymakers and influencers through less formal settings (think of the most influential people to a policymaker). Policymakers may include council representatives, school administrators or board members, state or federal legislators. Influencers may include business leaders, philanthropic donors, civic volunteers, clergy or strong social media users.

  1. Is summer reading keeping you busy? Invite your leaders to visit your library during these busy times. We know it is "one more thing" during already stressful times for staff. But what better time to show your value to the community!
  2. Plan now to include a library tour in the back-to-school and orientation events at your school or college campus. Provide demonstrations and "micro-learning" sessions about the full range of services at the library--give them a new experience over their memory of quiet reading rooms with books. School librarians who are solo or juggling multiple schools: need help? Invite your public librarian(s) to help.
  3. Take a picture of a "co-working space user" or a parent group and record what the library means to them (ask the entrepreneur who "offices" in your library or the homeschooler group who uses the study room every week). The From Awareness To Funding report shows these groups as key constituencies for the future.
  4. Map your policymaker and key influencer relationships. Print pages 14-19 in the ILF Advocacy Planning Guide for samples. 
  5. Business and community leaders also appreciate being asked to:
  • Read or speak as a guest in your program.
  • Present the awards or certificates at the conclusion of summer reading or computer classes.
  • Take and post a picture with their favorite book or item from your Library of Things.
  • Record a 45-second video promoting your fall activities.

Contact us   for tips OR to tell us about your advocacy this summer.
Indiana General Assembly
Interim Study Committees and Appointments
The Legislative Council assigned   interim study topics .  Topics of interest to libraries include local income tax revenue allocations, tax incentives, effectiveness of workforce related programs, autism and public education and career counseling in elementary and high schools.

Committee members were named earlier this month. Review the appointments by the House and the Senate to see what roles your elected representatives will play in debating issues and developing legislation for next year's session.
Other State-level Policy Updates
  • Many new laws go into effect July 1. Learn more about the Library Code changes from HEA1412, and remember that the IN State Library provided directors updated forms related to library expansions within a township or county. Note also changes to Notary Law.
  • Leadership changes are underway in the Indiana General Assembly. Sen. David Long will resign and take a position with Ice Miller. Sen. Rod Bray is expected to become Senate Pro Tempore. Committee leadership and membership may change.
  • IN Department of Child Services received its external evaluation; Gov. Holcomb allocated $25 million from the state's surplus to address some of the recommendations. Legislative Council is scheduled to review the report on July 2.
  • Gov. Holcomb made additional appointments to various boards and commissions. Review here to see if someone you know made the list.
Federal Funding Update
Federal budget hearings are underway. The  federal funding for libraries  remains stable. See  ALA's District Dispatch for 6/15 update .

The House Appropriations Committee held a markup on  Labor-HHS-Education funding  6/15, and the Senate HELP Committee marked up its version of the  Career and Technical Education reauthorization  in June.  Our Sen. Todd Young serves on the HELP Committee and spoke in the hearing about professional development, makerspaces, the importance of CTE to Indiana employers and a little about the FFA and agricultural careers.
Internet Rules Changed June 11
The   FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Rules   went into effect June 11, removing regulations to treat all data equally. We continue to support the principle of internet neutrality. See   summary from ALA contact your member of the House (Senate already voted).
Indiana Library Federation key links
The ILF 2018 Policy Priorities include a continued focus on broadband expansion initiatives, lifelong learning initiatives and support for effective school libraries and certified librarians in K12 education.

You might also review the Indiana Adult Literacy Study which is referenced in the policy priorities.

Working closely with ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom , we also remind you to report challenges to the ALA office and allow them to share the aggregated information with us or email us an update--even when the challenge is resolved positively. ILF members may review our recent guidance on Marlon Bundo books (login required).