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This document contains legislative policy of the Louisiana Library Association, as adopted by its membership. The purpose of the LLA Legislative Policy Statement is to provide the Association and those working on behalf of the Association with a broad framework on legislative policy which can be utilized as a basis for action; to provide guidance for formulating the Association’s position on issues not covered by the adopted policy when legislative crisis situations develop; to serve as a guide to units within the Louisiana Library Association which may take initiative in legislative actions within their areas of responsibility which are not contrary to the membership-adopted policy. The Legislation Committee will periodically review this document and suggest revisions to the membership for adoption.

The Louisiana Library Association’s policy on state legislation is based on its objectives of promoting the development and improvement of libraries, library service, and librarianship in the State of Louisiana and represents the thinking of those who use libraries as well as those who operate them. The policy position of the Louisiana Library Association concerning legislation shall reflect the goals and aims of the sections and committees of the Association.



A. State Library of Louisiana. Through its leadership and supportive services, the State Library of Louisiana has spearheaded the development of public library services in the state. It is responsible for statewide library planning which provides for state support, for the effective administration and use of federal funds, and for coordinated library development. It undergirds and backstops the resources and services of other libraries in the state and provides for service to state government, institutions, and special groups. The Association supports legislation which continues to encourage and support financially the library’s leadership and service responsibilities.

B. LOUISiana Library Network. LOUIS is a project of the Louisiana Academic Library Information Network (LALINC), a dynamic consortium of public and private college and university libraries established in 1992 and funded by LALINC members and the Louisiana Board of Regents. LOUIS combines the collective resources of all members to provide member-approved initiatives, which include information technology solutions such as an integrated library system, a digital library system, an interlibrary loan system, electronic scholarly resources, remote access to resources any time, any place, as well as a host of other services. The Association supports legislation and administrative action which continues to encourage and support financially LOUIS’ leadership and service responsibilities.

C. Textbook/Media/Library Advisory Council for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Textbook/Media/Library Advisory Council assists the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in carrying out its duties and responsibilities concerning libraries and media centers in Louisiana’s public schools. The Association supports legislation and administrative action which continues to encourage and support financially viable, effective library and media centers in the state’s public schools.

D. Interlibrary Cooperation and Systems. Because no library can be or should be self-sufficient, a better utilization of existing resources must be achieved. The Association supports the cooperative and coordinated use of all resources in the state’s academic, public, school, and special libraries through the development and funding of library systems and interlibrary loan agreements, both formal and informal. The ultimate goal is a framework of cooperation which makes all resources accessible to all of the state’s citizens through their local libraries.

E. Telecommunications. The Association recognizes that telecommunication is important, both because it can greatly increase citizen access to library resources and services and because it can enhance effective communication among libraries and other components of information networks. The Association supports legislation which will broaden the availability communication devices for educational and informational purposes. The Association supports the concept of maximum public, educational, and governmental access to cable production facilities and channel space. The Association will oppose legislation or regulations which restrict access to and use of telecommunications for educational and informational purposes.

F. Public Libraries. The public library cuts across the boundaries set by school, college/university, or special libraries to serve citizens of all ages in every community. Citizens in all 64 parishes now have access to locally-supported public libraries. However, the growing needs of a changing population have placed increased demands on the services and materials of the public library; local support is no longer enough. Direct state assistance is needed to strengthen basic library resources, both material and staff; to develop strong library systems; and to provide for adequate library facilities. State funding is needed to stimulate and assist public libraries in developing new programs and services which will help in meeting critical social and educational needs. The Association also supports the inclusion of the public library in state legislation designed to create or strengthen community services and programs of a social and educational nature, including the expansion of the library’s role as a community information center designed to serve the special information needs of all members of the community.

G. Academic Libraries. Academic libraries are an essential part of advanced learning. While each library’s primary concern is with its parent institution, academic libraries recognize their broader responsibility as part of the total library community. In order to continue to meet these needs and to support new and changing programs of instruction and research in Louisiana’s colleges and universities, library resources and services must be strengthened and expanded. The Association supports increased funding of university, college, and junior college libraries as a part of funding of higher education. Any state legislation which stimulates new or expanded educational programs should provide sufficient additional funds to meet the library material and personnel needs for the success of these programs.

H. School Library Media Centers. The school library media center is an integral part of the school and supports and enriches every aspect of the curriculum. Effective teaching and learning rely on well-stocked library media centers, staffed by library media specialists. The Association supports increased state funds to provide centralized school media centers, media center librarians and support personnel, and adequate collections of library books, audiovisual materials and equipment which will stimulate and strengthen school library services required in programs of quality education. The Association supports the revision of the state equalization formula to provide for the employment of school media center librarians in the elementary schools as part of the state’s minimum education program.

I. Special Libraries. Special libraries serve the specialized informational needs of industry, business, research, educational and technical institutions, government, special departments of public and university libraries, newspapers, museums, and many organizations, both public and private. Special libraries service a vital function in 17 systems for cooperative use of library resources and interlibrary loan agreements, by providing specialized material not otherwise available. The Association supports the inclusion of special libraries in the development of cooperative agreements.

J. Library Services to the Disadvantaged. The Association supports the provision of library services to the urban and rural disadvantaged which will stimulate an interest in reading, increase literacy, support self-esteem, promote pride in heritage, and develop a concern for the community.

K. Library Services to the Blind and Handicapped. The Association supports programs which strengthen and expand library services to meet the special needs and interests of the blind and physically handicapped.

L. Service to Health and Correctional Facilities. The Association supports the provision of library services which will meet the special needs and interests of patrons in health and correctional institutions, either with libraries developed within the institutions or by providing selection and reference services and transporting materials to the patrons on a regular basis.

M. Access to State Documents. The Association supports the concept of inclusion in the public domain of all materials produced at public expense. It supports freedom of access to all forms of state publications, including microforms, audio-visual material, etc. paid for in full or in part by state funds as one of the rights of citizenship and necessary for the intelligent exercise thereof. The Association supports the orderly and efficient distribution of state publications through the depository library program in order that state information may be freely available and readily accessible to the public. And the revision of the depository law as to meet the needs of the public in an economical, efficient and useful way now and in the future.

Service from Other State Agencies

1. Louisiana Department of Education. The Louisiana Department of Education is a primary agency in promoting educational excellence. The Association supports a fully developed and coordinated program of library service within the State Department of Education and its continued leadership in planning and implementing school library activities within the state.

2. Legislative Reference Services. The Association endorses continued financial support to the Louisiana Legislative Council and the State Library of Louisiana to provide books, information and reference service to members of the legislature, other officers of state government, and their staffs.

3. State Archives. The Association supports the archival functions of the state administered by the State Archives and Records Service to provide centralized control of archival documents. The Association supports state legislation and financial supports necessary to assure adequate housing, equipment, and qualified professional personnel to provide continuing centralized control and service in archival and records management.


I. Library Education. The advancement of the library profession depends upon academically qualified men and women who will assume leadership. The Association supports continued and additional funding of the School of Library and Information Science of Louisiana State University and undergraduate curricula in library science offered in state colleges and universities. Continued upgrading of staff is needed in all types of libraries. The Association supports legislation which provides for the continuing education of librarians and library personnel.

II. Personnel Policies and Employment Standards. In order for the library to function fully as an unbiased, nonpartisan source of information, the Association supports selection and promotion of library personnel based on qualifications and competency, without discrimination in regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, etc.

III. Taxation. The Association believes that it is in the public interest that libraries, as educational institutions, and the distribution of educational, cultural and scientific materials used by libraries not be unjustly burdened by taxation. Libraries and library materials are already frequently given special treatment and exemptions in the tax laws of federal, state, and local governments. The Association favors revenue acts with interpretive regulations which will encourage gifts of personal and business papers to libraries, thus providing valuable primary source material for research in many areas.

IV. Library Construction. The Association recognizes the needs and supports the efforts for improving and enlarging library facilities throughout the state as necessary to provide service to the greatest possible number of citizens.

V. Surplus Property. The Association supports the policy of permitting libraries, like other education institutions, to receive both real and personal surplus property.


The Association holds intellectual freedom to be indispensable to the preservation of those individual liberties and democratic institutions guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. It supports legislation which enhances the ability of libraries to carry out the Library Bill of Rights as defined and adopted by the American Library Association and opposes legislation designed to restrict free access to information concomitant with these positions. In a democratic society, it is essential that citizens be able to read and explore ideas freely, without fear of surveillance. When it is necessary to investigate records of library use for reasons of public safety, then reasonable legal safeguards should be employed to protect the rights of the individual library user and library staff members. The Association opposes any state legislation which would erode protection of privacy of records of library users and supports any legislation which safeguards this privacy.


The Association supports participation of Louisiana libraries in national and regional programs, including but not limited to, interlibrary loan of materials, interstate networks, union catalogs and bibliographies, workshops and institutes. The Association supports continued cooperation with and participation in the American Library Association, on the part of the state association and/or individual members.



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