Kansas HB2719 post-hearing reflections

TL;DR :

  1. Legislative Update HB2719 from Kansas Library Association
  2. Storify of yesterday’s social media posts and news coverage [because, what do librarians do along with everything else that we provide to our communities through our services? We curate and repackage information for public consumption]

Personal reflections follow (and it gets lengthy…I captured these for my own thoughts and archive; if anyone else is interested, that’s great; if not, I completely understand if you don’t make it all the way through!).

Note: those foam fingers have been around for months. They were not created or designed for Monday’s advocacy efforts. 

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Kansas library advocacy reflections (so far)

Q: When was the last time 95% of Americans agreed any anything?

A: In 2013, when 95% of Americans agreed that: 

  • the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed
  • 95% say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading
  • Source: A December 2013 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project)

On Thursday night after I had worked with Laura DeBaun (NEKLS System Director) to craft this very message over the phone in my hotel room in Philadelphia (as a work conference I was attending was ending), after afternoon virtual meetings with Kansas librarians who are on the Kansas Library Association governmental affairs committee, and sent this initial post out…. Exhaustion hit.

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Kansas library advocacy efforts roundup

Note: Link List Updated March 15, 2016, 10am

Update: HB2719 hearing was yesterday, Monday, March 14, 2016. A fiscal note has been added for the bill (a plain English explanation of the bill) The links have been updated to reflect a few media stories from that day, as well as adding in a Storify link from social media posts of the day. 

I thought it might be a good idea to link to many of the advocacy efforts and links being shared online, against Kansas HB2719here’s a brief explanation from my own regional library system, the Northeast Kansas Library System.

I’m floored at the number of posts I’m seeing shared through Facebook — and those are the only ones I can see publicly. I’m pretty sure there’s much more being shared. Please keep sharing, calling, and writing the House Taxation Committee and your own House representative (look up here) about this bill of unintended consequences Continue reading “Kansas library advocacy efforts roundup”

Kansas public library service model is threatened

This post is in response to advocacy efforts in the Kansas library community, opposing HB 2719. A hearing for this bill is scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2016. Please IMMEDIATELY contact the House Taxation Committee members and your local representative, asking them to oppose this bill. HB 2719 will end Kansas public library service as we now know it. #ksleg

Full disclosure: I am an employee of a Kansas regional library system. These thoughts are my own and not my employer’s. I am not advocating for my job. I am advocating for the citizens of Kansas who deserve maintaining equity and efficient public library service by keeping current funding models and practices in place, and oppose HB2719 as a result. 

Kansas has always leaned conservative. But it’s been common sense conservatism until recently. We’re a small urban/rural split state. Communities large & small take great pride in their public schools, public libraries, community health, and great public roads.

Kansas had figured out how to do much within its communities w modest tax dollar investments over the years in public services.

But now, in the name of low/no tax dollars at all levels of government, legislation keeps getting introduced & (at times) later passed that threatens communities.

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