Well team, we are pleased to report that LB969, the bill in the Nebraska state legislature that would have dismantled library boards of trustees, devolved hire/fire for all employees to local mayors and city councils, set up “advisory committees” to choose books and collections for these libraries instead of professional librarians, and would have made all donations for the library go to the mayor and city council, appears to be dead. The Bill’s sponsor, Senator Tyson Larson, (Dist 40) said as much in the Fremont Tribune the other day:
With fewer than 30 days left in the Legislative session, LB96 doesn’t have a priority designation and won’t be heard this year.
“That’s what’s happens in short session, you have to pick what your priorities are going to be,” Larson said. “This year, I personally had other issues that were higher on my priority list. Moving forward, LB969 will be very important for things such as transparency in good government.”
We were proud to have activated over 1,400 petition signatures in a very short time against this bill and to mount a very visible #noLB969 campaign on social media in opposition to this terrible legislation. Our colleagues at the Nebraska Library Association did a masterful job of bringing out local librarians, trustees, and Friends/Foundations folks to contact their own Senators against this bill. They called it like it is:
The concerns that the Nebraska Library Association has are that it is pretty apparent that this bill was written because of a very, very small number of situations in the state. – Steve Fosselman, chair of the Nebraska Library Advocacy Committee
Strong statements by ALA President Sari Feldman and United for Libraries President Steve Laird brought national attention to the bill and put the Senate leadership on notice that this would be a fight on the floor.
This isn’t a victory lap, though. In the Fremont Tribune article, they quote Sen. Larson as saying “…he’ll probably reintroduce the bill next year.” We need to remain vigilant and ready to act. Sign up for our action alerts or donate now to help us advertise these types of calls-to-action on social media. Your support will help us react quickly to issues like LB969 that threaten libraries. If you are a Nebraska librarian, join NLA or go to Legislative Day in Lincoln. Their LB969 opposition was your dues in action. And all our advocacy goes better when we stand together.