Library Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
June 26, 2020
I n this issue of your Library Advocacy Update
  • New state laws become effective July 1
  • Library-related legislation and more on SEA410, a new library law
  • Primary Election Results
  • Libraries and the Global Pandemic
  • Calls for Racial Justice
Key Links
New State Laws going into effect July 1

Most laws that were passed during the 2020 session of the Indiana General Assembly become effective July 1, including the new library law (described below). Since it seems like a decade since the end of the legislative session in mid-March, allow us to remind you about some of the new laws:
  • Teachers held harmless on consequences of test scores
  • Teacher training and licensing flexibility
  • Hands-free driving (no touching cell phone)
  • Tobacco product age use raised to 21 (smoking and vaping) and raised fines on retailers
  • New lead testing in schools statewide
  • New panhandling restrictions (illegal within 50 feet of public monument or any place of financial transaction)
  • 2-1-1 is transitioning from IN211 to INFSSA
  • Health care cost transparency requires health care facilities to post cost information on websites by 3/31/2021

Library-related legislation
Senate Enrolled Act 410 , PL88, was signed into law by Governor Holcomb on 3/18/20. ILF proactively advocated for this new library law in response to members and stakeholders. The new law addresses three primary areas: 1) clarified cash reserves calculations from HEA1343 in 2019, 2) requires criminal history check policies to be adopted by 12/31/2020, and 3) allows library cards for foster children. Provisions requested by IN State Library and IN Dept. of Local Government Finance related to changing of library district to library territory and requiring the declaration of the fiscal body.

ILF developed special SEA410 resources for all, and ILF will provide to members cash reserves-to-budget calculations, consultation for members, and ILF Budget Tactical Team Expert Office Hours on 7/10, 7/17, 7/24.

I N Dept. of Local Government Finance posted guidance about several new laws here .
Summer in the Statehouse and Government Center (online)
Interim Study Topics were announced on May 13 and are listed and linked here . Legislators study certain topics before preparing legislation for the following year.
The State Budget Committee met on 6/17. The committee discussed pandemic revenue impacts and resources. See OMB Director Cris Johnston's presentation to the committee about COVID-related funding. State agencies are asked to cut 15% and higher education to cut 7%. See the circular on other cost-saving measures . The State is committed to keeping K-12 funding whole at this time.
Primary Election Results
While the pandemic and attention to racial injustice dominate the news, Indiana held its Primary election on June 2. Elections included referendums in sixteen counties, where all but three were successful. Review Primary Election results .

Kudos to the many public libraries that provided safe polling site locations for the primary election!
ILF Policy Priority Survey
Your ILF Advocacy Committee is actively preparing for the 2021 budget-writing session of the Indiana General Assembly. Given that we know some of the financial impacts on tax-generated revenues, the Committee is asking ILF members and stakeholders to respond to specific priority considerations. We want to build on our 2020 success in securing the future for libraries, despite the funding and policy challenges.

The survey takes about 15-20 minutes and asks you whether you support specific policies and how you prioritize them, as not all can be top priority. Take survey now .
Libraries and the Pandemic: Updates
As Indiana prepares for Stage 5 of the Back On Track Indiana guidance and plan for lifting restrictions, Indiana's libraries are moving into a "new normal." As IN Health Commissioner Dr. Box has stated, it is "not business as usual."
  • Academic libraries will continue online instruction and support, with modified access as college students return to campuses in-person and in hybrid models. Many colleges are planning for online instruction between Thanksgiving and early 2021.
  • School libraries are preparing for K-12 students to return to schools, while also planning to support remote learning. By request of schools, ILF issued this guidance about safely reopening school libraries. It is critically important that children have access to physical books and short visits to browse in the libraries.
  • Public libraries are reopening in phases that match the needs of their communities, their staffing, and resource capacities. Some libraries are open with limited access, while others continue curbside only until Stage 5. See ILF's public library reopen map. Over 375 public library branches extended wi-fi to their parking lots. See ILF's public library wi-fi map.
  • Special libraries continue a mix of in-person and remote services. The Indiana State Library is open by appointment and for online access.
Libraries are reopening, using the most current research and guidance from the CDC and other credible sources. The Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project released its literature review about coronavirus survival on 6/17 and released its first test results 6/22 , after testing how long the virus may survive on five typical items in library circulation: hardback book cover, softback book cover, paper pages closed in book, plastic book covering, and a DVD case. After one day, there were no recoverable virus on the hardback cover, the softback cover, or on the DVD case. By day three, there were no recoverable virus on all five tested materials.

For more information see ILF's COVID-19 Resources for updated information. Any Indiana library staff member may request access to ILF's pandemic resource webpage, where we post sample policies, practices, etc. Note that ILF Members also have access to weekly Bose Reports (log in and scroll down).
Calls for Racial Justice
Indiana Library Federation recognizes that racism does not belong in libraries or society, and that there is a persistent lack of Black voices in Indiana libraries. While ILF does not have statistics, ALA reports that Black librarians comprise only 6% of its membership. The ILF Board issued a message to membership and call to action for Indiana libraries . The ILF Ad Hoc Committee on Racial Justice and Inclusion holds its first meeting July 1 to begin reviewing how ILF can improve and what concrete actions ILF can take.
General Assembly Links
Indiana Library Federation Links