Librarians from across Kansas converged at the Statehouse on Thursday, February 19th, to participate in the Kansas Library Association’s Annual Library Advocacy Day.
Two briefings highlighted the day with updates on where the Legislature is with the State Library 2010 budget, and tips on what topics to focus on with individual legislators. The updates were made by Donna Lauffer and Roger Carswell, co-chairs of the KLA governmental relations committee.
Tips included reminding legislators that state aid to community libraries comes directly through the State Library, and thus any reductions will be shared by all. The State Library’s 2009 budget reduction will result in an 8.5 percent reduction in State Aid payments to libraries ($204,983). Reductions for the 2010 budget probably will be worse, and will include the elimination of Homework Kansas.
Librarians were asked to tell their legislators how important Kan-ed is to local libraries in both connectivity and in content. They were also asked to urge their legislators to support the Governor’s recommendations for Kan-ed funding at ten million dollars for 2010, with the funds coming from the Kansas Universal Service Fund (KUSF).
And finally, the librarians were asked to explain how the potential loss of Homework Kansas will affect their communities. More than 37,000 sessions in 2008 documents the need for this important internet-based tutoring service.
More than 80 members joined in the effort to meet with their legislators on Advocacy Day. In spite of the cramped quarters, breakfast and lunch were served in the State Library. Breakfast was underwritten by BCR; lunches were purchased by members.