OLA Legislative Committee
Thursday, November 10, 2016 • 2 PM to 4 PM
Oregon State Library Room 102
Attending: Janet Webster, Ruth Murray, MaryKay Dahlgreen, Abigail Elder, Diedre Conkling, Nan Heim, Elsa Loftis, Sue Ludington, Ted Smith
Remote: Buzzy Nielsen, Kate Lasky, Robin Rolfe, Jane Corey, John Schoppert, Brooke Robertshaw
- Lobbyist Report (Nan)
Nan reported that there will not be much change in the Legislature. Kotek should remain as Speaker of the House and Nathanson as chair of Ways and Means. The Republicans gained a seat in the Senate making the split 17 Democrats to 13 Republicans; the Democrats wouldn’t have the super majority. Roblan appears to have retained his seat in the Senate. The budget and corporate tax reform should feature prominently. Buzzy mentioned that McClain spoke about a cooperative effort on the later. The session will convene January 9th with three days of committee meetings and the release of all introduced bills. The real work will start in February.
Diedre mentioned that Special Districts Legislative Committee is working on a public records task force that might result in legislation of interest. There will also be public notice legislation focused on print versus virtual posting of notices.
- State Law Librarian Report
Cathryn was absent. Sue reported that the county law libraries are responding to a biennial survey from the State Law Library. Discussion continues about the purpose and use of the survey and its results. Oregon Council of County Law Libraries met recently; Multnomah County Law Library’s future remains an issue.
Sue will be leading a pre-conference on legal reference at the OLA Conference.
- State Librarian Report (MaryKay)
The organizers of National Legislative Day are attempting to get the event on everyone’s radar early. Registration is going up to $50 so while the State Library will cover his in 2017, it will reconsider in future years. MaryKay would like OLA attendees identified by January 30. Marykay, Buzzy (OLA president elect), Ruth Murray and Sara Charlton are currently planning on going. This committee has funding to help send a committee person. Abigail and Janet will alert OLA divisions and units about the opportunity.
We are waiting for bills to emerge from Legal Counsel in December. Smith-Warner was planning on submitting one on summer learning. As there is no new money, we are not optimistic about it moving if it is introduced.
MaryKay would be very surprised if the State Library gets all of the policy packages she requested. They are proceeding with another attempt at the Reading for Success bill that expanded the current Ready to Read program to cover 15-17 year olds and added funding for that expansion. Even if the funding wasn’t appropriated, the language would add flexibility for public libraries.
- OrDocs Summit (MaryKay and Janet)
The Summit was successful with broad participation across use groups. The top two action items were 1) clarifying definitions of public record/public document and the roles of State Archives, State Law Library and State Library in addressing them, and 2) digitizing everything. There was more consensus on the former.
- School Library and ESSA Update (Robin)
The work group has drafted a letter to ODE outlining OLA/OASL recommendations for incorporating school libraries in the ESSA work plan. EveryLibrary’s John Chrastka guided the task force and Jen Mauer provided support. The letter will be finalized and submitted by November 15th to ODE. It isn’t clear who to send it to, but probably the superintendent. We are also not sure of the process after the draft work plan is released in December. Nan will investigate if there is a role for the Legislature. Janet will check with Desiree Kiesel at ODE. Elsa will check with Michele Burke and Stephanie Debner for support from ILAGO and the Academic Division.
- OLA Conference Sessions(Brooke)
Speaking up together for school libraries was accepted. Janet will pin down speakers for this short session on what’s happening with ESSA in Oregon and what we can do at the local level.
The statistics session was also accepted. Brooke wants to identify a school librarian to be part of the presentation. Robin offered to help.
Sue mentioned that there would be a tour of State Archives, State Law Library and State Library Wednesday afternoon of the conference.
- Library Elections Update (Kate, Janet or Elsa)
Fern Ridge levy was defeated. This was a trial balloon to see if voters would go for a higher levy (much needed). The district will go back out in 2018.
Douglas County special district levy was defeated. The County Commissioners have no plan B at this time so the libraries may close as soon as January 1. Some cities may choose to negotiate with the County to assume ownership and operations.
- OLA Legislative Agenda (Janet and Abigail)
In September, Abigail discussed the agenda with the OLA Board, and Janet did the same with the State Library Board in October. These presentations were informational with the objective to improve communication and understanding of our legislative framework. Janet updated the dates and noted that the agenda was reviewed by this committee and the OLA board. Janet mentioned to the State Library Board that we might want to review the Ready to Read funding formula for relevancy. MaryKay thought that we might want to review the definition of ‘a legally established public library’ in light of OLA standards and recent changes in public funding of libraries.
- Guns in Libraries (Abigail)
Abigail had an excellent meeting with Amy Hutchinson (Lake County Library) and Dianna Gleason (retired) on gun policies in libraries. Gleason wrote an extensive review of policies and is a good resource. Abigail suggested three possible actions:
- Amend ORS 166.173 to add special districts to the governments with the ability to regulate loaded firearms;
- Amend ORS 161.015 to amend the definition of public areas to include libraries;
- Recommend a policy addition that if a library patron has a concealed carry permit, to please conceal the gun.
Diedre is going to check with Special Districts on the first suggestion. There was a lively conversation around the need to make sure that policy and guidelines were adapted to local situations. Ted mentioned that he is more concerned with knives, swords and machetes than guns. Abigail continues to work on a model gun policy. Perhaps this should include other weapons.
Outstanding Action Items:
- Abigail and Janet will alert OLA divisions and units about the opportunity to attend National Legislative Day and get commitments by January 30.
- Janet, Buzzy and Elsa will help get the OLA/OASL letter to ODE submitted and follow-up with advocacy planning.
- Janet and Brook will continue planning for their respective OLA conference sessions.
- Nate will write up a piece for the Hotline and Libs-Or about the Access to Justice Committee in Deschutes County and the successful model of the county law library program.
- Abigail will draft a model gun policy and have it reviewed by Kate, Buzzy and Diedre.
- Nate, Sue and Janet will continue to work on the Engage site.
- Jane and Korie to weed legislative day gift books, and solicit more for future events.
- Abigail and Rachel will create a webinar for folks attending OLA Legislative Day.