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CLA Call To Action!
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The purpose of the California Library Association’s Advocacy and Legislative Committee (CLA/ALC) is to monitor and take action on various proposed pieces of legislation which impact library services to California residents.  To that end, the CLA/ALC works closely with the CLA Board, association members, and CLA’s lobbyists.


During the 2018 legislative session, the CLA/ALC will focus on:

  • Continuing the sponsorship of SCA 3-Dodd, as well as support other efforts to lower the voter approval threshold for local library bond measures and special taxes to 55%.

  • Also continuing efforts relative to exploring options for flexible and adaptable library facilities (library construction bonds, needs assessments, etc.), and CLA will look for opportunities for the inclusion of libraries in any economic stimulus bond packages.

  • Seeking to provide State Budget funding for high-speed, high capacity broadband, so that all libraries may achieve full, equal technology services.

  • Working with the State Library to create a statewide database to benefit K-12 schools and public libraries, intended to serve both students and library patrons.  (Note:  $3 million in K-12 funding was included in the 2017-18 Budget for this purpose.)

  • Working with the State Legislature and local governments on compassionate and practical solutions to assist the issue of individuals experiencing homelessness or near homelessness at the library. (Examples would include the areas of literacy, mental health and job skills (workforce development).)

  • Provide tools and outreach for library directors, library staff, library trustees and Friends groups, and others to encourage these individuals to advocate and educate legislators and local officials on the life-changing impact of California’s innovative libraries.

  • Supporting federal efforts to secure adequate funding for and the reauthorization of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), universal services provision (Telecommunications Act of 1996), the Government Publishing Office, and the Library of Congress.


In addition, CLA will continue its annual efforts in the following areas:

  • The monitoring of and opposition to legislation that restricts open access to information in any format.

  • Supporting the provision of adequate funding for literacy programs at all levels.

  • Ensuring the provision of funding and support for technology to enhance workforce development efforts, individual learning, entrepreneurial/business centers, and lifelong learning.

  • Monitoring state taxation policies and procedures so libraries are fairly and adequately funded, thus ensuring long-term sustainability.

  • Supporting efforts to ensure creativity, innovation, and growth by restoring lost State Budget and local government revenues.

  • Pursuing innovative, collaborative ways to enhance resource-sharing and library usage (e.g. a library card for every child in California, establishment of a universal library card, cooperative loaning and lending models, etc.).

The work of CLA/ALC is done through advocacy in its many forms.  Methods include working with other library organizations such as the California School Library Association (CLSA) California County Librarians Association (CCLA), California Public Library Advocates (CPLA, and the Council of California County Law Libraries (CCCLL), and developing partnerships with non-library organizations on legislative issues of mutual interest.

Of course, the most effective advocacy comes from a first-hand professional relationship between library staff members; library groups such as Friends of the Library, Library Foundation members, or Library Commissioners; the residents they serve; and the legislators themselves.

Finally, the CLA/ALC supports the rights of all to a free public library with full and open access to information and the confidentiality of library user records as ensured by California State statutes.  Further, it supports the American Library Association’s position on federal issues and supports National Library Legislative Day, annually sending well-qualified CLA members to Washington D.C. to represent California interests.

Adopted by the CLA Legislative Committee (November 3
rd) and Executive Board November 5th, 2017