The Committee on Government Relations will accomplish the following:
- Monitor state legislative and governmental developments in relating to libraries and information. These developments may include, but are not limited to:
- Government Information Policy: Dissemination of Government Information, Freedom of Information, Privacy
- State Depository Library Programs
- Intellectual Property: Copyright, Public Domain Status of Government Publications
- Intellectual Freedom: Censorship, Privacy of Library Users
- Report to the Law Librarians of New England membership and to the AALL Government Relations Committee on such legislative and governmental developments. Some examples of reports include:
- Reports at chapter meetings
- Reports published in LLNE News
- Reports on LLNE Listserv as appropriate
- Reports presented at the AALL Annual Meeting Legislative Update
- Identify and contact when appropriate other groups monitoring state information policies, including especially other library organizations.
- Present testimony or position papers only after obtaining the approval of the AALL Government Relations Committee and the LLNE Executive Board.
Mary K. Tartaglia
Maureen P. Quinlan
Christine I. Hepler
Legislative and government policies at the state and federal levels directly affect all law librarians working in the state and the way all law librarians work together. Keeping ourselves informed about legislative and other government information policies will enable us to better understand common trends and issues and their affect on our ability to meet users’ information needs and to assist our professional organization to actively participate in setting the information agenda for the entire United States.
The Committee on Government Relations is established to monitor legislative and other governmental developments affecting libraries and information and to regularly report on these developments to the members of the Law Librarians of New England and the Government Relations Committee of the American Association of Law Libraries.
The Committee on Government Relations is composed of one representative from each state in the region covered by the Law Librarians of New England and any member of the AALL Government Relations Committee coming from this region. The AALL Government Relations Committee representative may also represent one of the states in the region. Members should be able to access current legislative and government information for their respective states.
The AALL Government Relations Committee (GRC) and the AALL Government Relations Office (GRO) monitor federal legislation or regulatory activity and other issues national in scope. The Government Relations Office website is the source of the Association’s official national level advocacy materials. The GRO website is a one-stop-shop for AALL policy updates, letters, testimony, issue briefs, presentations, and other resources, with coverage back to 1995. The Government Relations Office staff is more than happy to answer your questions and discuss your concerns. Please feel free to contact the Interim Director of the AALL’s Government Relations Office, Emily Feltren.
Apart from national level efforts, however, the GRC liaison for each AALL chapter facilitates advocacy efforts that originate at the state and local, or the grassroots level. The GRC liaison for LLNE is Emilie Benoit. Please contact her with Government Relations concerns, activities and initiatives and visit the GRC website.
Some useful links:
1. The Advocacy Toolkit: The AALL Advocacy Toolkit is designed to help AALL members and chapters become effective advocates for law libraries. The Toolkit will help you become familiar with AALL’s information policy priorities and learn the skills you need to make a difference for law libraries on the federal and state levels.
2. AALL Washington Blawg: Launched in February 2008, the Blawg includes the latest policy updates, news items, summaries of hearings, useful resources, and more. It is the best source of up-to-date information from the Government Relations Office. You can receive Blawg updates through RSS feeds and email.
3. The AALL Advocacy Listserv: A two-way discussion list that keeps you in the loop on the latest policy news, the Advocacy Listserv also gives you an opportunity to share stories about what’s happening in your state. Listserv members can post news, questions, or concerns to the hundreds of people who subscribe to the list.