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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mississippians Participate in National Library Legislative Day

May 2 and 3 marked the annual advocacy gathering of hundreds of librarians and library supporters in Washington, D.C. for National Library Legislative Day. A diverse group of Mississippi Library Association librarians--from public, school, academic, and state libraries--made the trip: Dr. Glenda Segars, Jolee Hussey, Pamela Pridgen, Suzanne Poyner, Ann Marsh, Susan Cassagne, Jenniffer Stephenson, Erin Busbea, and Cecelia Parks were in attendance.

Out and about in Washington, D.C.

The librarians spoke with our legislators about a variety of issues and programs happening in libraries in the United States, including these, which are especially important for Mississippians:
  • The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is the only federally funded program for libraries. Mississippi libraries have used this funding on a variety of programs and projects. To name just a few, they've implemented innovative autism resource centers, bought new computers for public use, and now offer much-needed computer classes for students, seniors, and job seekers. Stay tuned--we'll be sharing Mississippi's LSTA success stories on this blog in the coming months.
  • Innovative Approaches to Literacy Funding is an important program that assists with books and literacy programs in our school libraries.
  • Programs that keep us up-to-date and competitive in areas where we are technologically deficient, including support of public WiFi access, network neutrality, and the Lifeline program, which would help fund broadband.
  • The Marrakesh Treaty affects over 107,000 Mississippians with print disabilities. It will make print materials available in accessible digitized formats.

The Mississippi contingent

Sessions were hosted by the American Library Association

Planning the day

Waiting in Senator Roger Wicker's office to meet
with his Legislative Assistant, Sarah Lloyd Stevenson
MLC Executive Director Susan Cassagne said of the conference, "It is always an honor to represent Mississippi's libraries and visit with our congressional delegates.The visits give us the opportunity to tell the stories of how the services our libraries provide and their services are positively impacting citizens and communities across our state. Libraries do transform!"

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