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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ALA kazam!

I stumbled across a summary of the E-Rate's funding woes by the American Library Association.  It's kind of an odd time to come out with the summary, since there has been no news on this front for 6 months, and we'll likely get a new demand estimate within 2 months, which will let us know the funding prospects for 2013-2014.  Still, if you haven't heard anything about the funding crunch, it's worth a read.  I just wish they hadn't called it a "fiscal cliff."  I guess they had to do something to pique people's interest, but I expect more reasoned discourse from librarians.

First, of course, I have to comment on the most important issue facing the program: the capitalization of the "R" in "E-Rate."  Alas, the report uses the small "r."  I am disappointed not to have the ALA in my camp, but I will struggle on.  Actually, the "R" is capitalized in the title, but not elsewhere, not even in the subtitle.

Check out the last paragraph: "The American Library Association believes the program should be fully funded. This includes all Priority 1 requests and all Priority 2 requests."  I wish that could happen, but I kind of think that if you're looking at increasing a government program beyond what the Obama administration is considering, your chances of getting it approved are nil.  Still, the ALA promises to "explore various options and alternatives to address this question."  I hope that means a public exploration.

I'm just happy the ALA is staying on top of the E-Rate.  After all, fewer than half of libraries get any E-Rate funding.

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