The Public Library Division (PLD) of the Minnesota Library Association is excited to announce its first statewide webinar, “Minnesota Public Library Budget Shortfalls: A Conversation.” The webinar is scheduled for June 8 from 10-11:30am.
There are many in the Minnesota public library community who are struggling with budget shortfalls during these challenging economic times. PLD has invited library directors from various types of public libraries — large and small, from the metropolitan area and from greater Minnesota to share their ideas.
Featured guest speakers are:
Each presenter will be addressing the following three questions:
1) What is your organization doing to address shrinking budgets – especially at a time when library use is growing?
2) How have you developed strategic priorities for using the available funding – what to keep/strengthen, what do you let go?
3) Political Capital – How do/did you develop it, when do you spend it? (i.e., How have you established your library’s value to the community at a time when there is fierce competition for funding from all of your sources?)
According to the announcement, MLA’s Public Library Division believes this webinar is just the start to an ongoing conversation and a way for our library community to share its collective wisdom. PLD has created an online group to continue and expand the conversation via WebJunction Minnesota at: http://mn.webjunction.org/738. Please join the group, participate, and share with your Minnesota public library community. [To join the group be sure that you have created an account with WebJunction Minnesota and have affiliated with Minnesota].
Who should attend?: Anyone interested in hearing from a panel of Minnesota public library directors and participating in a statewide conversation about public library budget shortfalls.
Sponsors: The Public Library Division of the Minnesota Library Association and the WebJunction Minnesota Team (State Library Services, Metronet, & Minitex). For more information and to register, http://minitex.umn.edu/events/training/webinars.asp#228
WJMN encourages other MLA Divisions, MEMO, or library organizations interested in sponsoring statewide webinars to consider using WJMN resources. Contact Jennifer Hootman email@example.com for information.
The ALA Washington Office has issued this update on the issue of lead in children’s books. For background, see Suzanne Miller’s post below.
In discussing this situation with the ALA Washington Office attorney, Nathan Brown, we were advised that ALA’s comment letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission offered a statutory interpretation that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act does not apply to libraries, even if it applies to books.
Additionally, members of Congress have been telling ALA the same thing – the law was not intended to apply to books. We, therefore, believe strongly that the law does not apply to us unless and until CPSC clarifies otherwise by rule.
We have urged the CPSC to clarify that our interpretation is correct. In the meantime, if a library is aware of a book possibly containing lead at harmful levels or the statutorily prescribed levels, it should remove that book.
As we learn more about this issue, we will continue to post updates on this blog.
Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director
ALA Office of Government Relations
From District Dispatch, February 11, 2009
As you know, quick action was implemented by ALA last month to stop the Consumer Product Safety Commission from enforcing testing requirements on print materials for children under age 12 in libraries. Although the CPSC has issued a one year temporary stay on enforcement of the new law in specified circumstances, this issue will continue to require vigilance in order to obtain a permanent variance for libraries. In order to inform you more on this issue, I have attached a brief bibliography below that will provide background on lead levels and the implementation and response to the new law. It also includes links to the CPSC and their intended regulatory timelines.
Regulations on Lead Levels in Children’s Products
American Library Association Press Release. ALA Files Comments, Urges CPSC to Exempt Libraries from Regulation Under Consumer Product Safety Act. January 26, 2009.
Conrad, Kyle. Legislation Bans Phthalates and Lead in Toys, 41 SGB (September 2008) 8-9.
King, Erin. Leading to Danger, Current Health 1 (January 2009) 26-28.
Lacter, Mark. Toy Story, Los Angeles Magazine (October 2008) 110-116.
Lead Exposures in U.S. Children, 2008: Implications for Prevention, 116 Environmental Health Perspectives1285 (October 2008).
Look out for Lead, Consumer Reports (January 2009) 14-15.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Release #09-115. CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products. January 30, 2009. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09115.html
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Office of the General Counsel. Required Actions Pursuant to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Timeline. September 2008. http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/rulemaking.pdf
General information on the Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov
Four Minnesota library staff were selected to attend this conference in Columbus, Ohio, thanks to a Rural Library Sustainability grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, administered by State Library Services.
Participants from rural and small Minnesota libraries were Lynne Coleman, Waterville Public Library of the Waseca-LeSueur Regional Library (in Traverse de Sioux Regional System); Sue Hilgert, Olivia / Renville Libraries of the Pioneerland Library System; Jolene Seibel, Northwest Regional Library, Thief River Falls; and Mary Beth Woodrow, Aitkin Public Library of the East Central Regional Library. They allowed me to hang out with them.
Here are our notes on some of the program offerings and experiences at the conference!