Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
September 27, 2019
In this issue of your ILF Advocacy Update
  • Indiana General Assembly Interim Study Committees
  • Celebrating the Freedom the Read and Banned Books Week
  • Explaining Publisher Policies to Patrons - Repeated
  • Quick Links
What YOU can do
  • Register for Legislative Fall Forum and Annual Conference
  • Explain Publisher Policies to Staff, Board and Patrons
  • Educate staff about collection development and reconsideration policies.
Last Chance to Register for Legislative Fall Forum and the Annual Conference

The Legislative Fall Forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 3 at Anderson Public Library . Advance registration is required-- please register no later than Tuesday, Oct. 1. Fall Forum includes 4 LEUs of training.

The Annual Conference , held Nov. 4-5 in Indianapolis , is the premier conference for all associated with Indiana academic, public and school libraries. Hotel rates increase Oct. 2 and registration rates increase Oct. 16 . Register today. Several sessions at the Annual Conference will help build advocacy and communications skills.
Interim Study Committees Underway

The Indiana General Assembly convenes study committees in the interim in order to prepare for the next legislative session.

Topics of likely interest to ILF members may include:
  • Education Committee discussed career counseling issues and graduation pathways 8/22. On 10/1, they will discuss the feasibility of merging state board of education, the governor's workforce cabinet and the commission on higher education. Property tax referenda impact on schools and teacher pay are assigned for 10/15.
  • Fiscal Policy will consider creation of regional development authorities for taxing on 9/30, complexity index for K-12 on 10/15, and a review of the workforce-related program reports and tax incentive review on 10/18.
  • Government started reviewing statutes governing state and local public works projects on 8/13 and has many meetings scheduled through October.
  • Pension Management Oversight will consider requests for changes to pension and post-retirement benefits. On 10/2, they will discuss possible changes to INPRS, Indiana's Public Retirement System.
  • Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human services will consider access to care in rural areas and prescription drugs.
Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark
Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28

Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark is the theme to 2019 Banned Books Week. Libraries play a critical role in bringing the community together around the ideals about the freedom to seek, share and express ideas.

As we close out the week, we are reminded that the majority of challenges are not even reported. Of challenges reported to American Library Association, the majority occur in public libraries, followed by school libraries and schools. See graphic below. Challenges are made to books, programs, meeting rooms, databases, magazines, art, displays, art, programs, and more.

What can YOU do:

Photo at left is a Banned Book/Stand Up for Your Right To Read display at Demotte branch of Jasper County Public Library.
Celebrating the Freedom to Read with the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library

Earlier this week, Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Chad Heck and Lucinda Nord led a community discussion on "How Trends Affecting Libraries Impact the Freedom to Read" at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library . Nord and Heck shared examples related to trends in print and eBook readership, publishing, licensing, funding and challenges to intellectual freedom.

Participants could name five of the top 11 challenged books from the last year. High school students shared their perspectives about how young people learn about the impact of suicide from books like Thirteen Reasons Why and about diverse characters in most of the books on the challenged list.

Tipton High School English Teacher and Football Coach Bret Stoker served as a "prisoner" made in a wall of banned books for the week. Read his blog praising teachers and librarians . See photo of Bret in "jail."
Repeated for Most Frequently Downloaded Sample Messages below

Explaining New Publisher Policies to Staff, Board and Patrons

Library patrons are upset that their desired new eBook or eAudiobook is not available or is on a long wait list. Why? Major publishers are changing policies on eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Let's help our staff, boards, patrons and community supporters understand:
  • The big publishers are not selling or licensing eBooks and eAudiobooks to libraries in the same way they do print copies. It just doesn't make sense that a publisher charges the library $90 for an eBook that a person can buy for $7.99.
  • Libraries are limited on the number of copies they can purchase, as well as when and how long they can be active in the library’s catalog.
  • In some cases libraries are being denied access to the electronic new releases.
These changes will make it impossible for libraries to provide equal access to information and hurt Hoosiers who depend on the library the most. 

American Library Association launched a petition campaign calling on Macmillan to change its policy that will limit libraries to publish only one eBook copy for the first eight weeks after a title's release.

What can YOU do?
  • Educate your staff and board about publisher policies and impact on library service. We have linked two sample messages to share:
  • a version you may customize with your library name and eBook usage statistics, and
  • a more generic message for local use. Please contact us with specific questions or concerns. 
  • Contact us with questions or ideas.
  • Sign ALA's petition telling Macmillan that you demand #eBooksforAll.
Indiana Library Federation Links