Libraries and arts tend to not fair well when it comes to politicians and budgets. It is sad fact. However the library community can give itself a big high five, or a little one, after the recent actions of the Senate. Publishers Weekly brought this interesting news to our attention in their article, “For Libraries, It Was a Good Week on Capitol Hill.”

The Senate is poised to pass the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559), which supporters say, if passed, will make hundreds of thousands of books accessible for the blind and print disabled. The treaty, which was negotiated and ultimately adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2013, requires countries to enact copyright exceptions that would allow the creation and distribution of accessible format copies such as braille, audio, or digital files. As you can imagine, the treaty is supported by both the publishing and library communities.

The American Libraries Association (ALA)’s Washington Office recently reported a record number of senators signing onto this year’s “Dear Appropriator” campaign in support of library funding in the FY2019 federal budget. In all, 46 senators signed, which calls for at least $189 million in federal funding for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Meanwhile, in the House, 136 representatives signed on, the second highest total yet.

Melody K. Smith

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