Aerden (aerden) wrote,

Talking Books Program in Jeapardy?

I got this in email from a co-worker.

Urgent action is needed to respond to the House's Legislative Branch Subcommittee's proposed appropriations bill relating to the fiscal year 2008 budget request of the Library of Congress. As you all know the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has been working on a plan to convert the Talking Books program to a digital format. The cost of this needed transition from analog cassette to digital technology is $76.4 million over a four-year period ($19.1 million for each of the next four years). The House Legislative Branch Subcommittee has only included $7.5 million for this project in the bill, which passed the subcommittee yesterday. The subcommittee also voted against an amendment raised by Congressman Ray LaHood of Illinois that sought to include full funding for the NLS upgrade. Not only is this amount just a third of what was requested by the Library of Congress, but the subcommittee further gave the Librarian of Congress the power to transfer all or part of the funds from the Books for the Blind program to other upgrades for the Library. Essentially, if the Librarian of Congress chooses to transfer funds from the $7.5 million allotted for the digital conversion program, the Talking Books program will be killed due to a lack of equipment to repair broken tape players and the simple fact that all aspects of cassette technology will become obsolete in the next four years.

The Legislative Branch Appropriations bill will now be presented to the full Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday, July 12. It is imperative that we flood the offices of Committee members and the office of Subcommittee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz before July 12th to urge them to include the full funding for the digital upgrade and to protect these funds from being shifted within the Library of Congress to meet other needs. The Talking Books program is the largest and most essential available source of information for blind people as a whole, and we need to protect this information source with our greatest effort. Included below is a list of the members on the Appropriations Committee and their office numbers. Please contact their offices, and let them know how important the Talking Books program is to the blind. I will update you with further information on this initiative, but your calls should start immediately.

Thanks in advance for all of your hard work.

Jesse Hartle
Government Program Specialist
1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, ext. 2233

House Committee on Appropriations
Full Committee - June 7, 2007

FL D, Schultz, Rep Debbie Wasserman, 202-225-7931

(alphabetical by state)

AL D, Cramer, Rep Robert E. Bud, Jr., 202-225-4801
AL R, Aderholt, Rep Robert B., 202-225-4876
AR D, Berry, Rep Marion, 202-225-4076
AZ D, Pastor, Rep Ed, 202-225-4065
CA D, Farr, Rep Sam, 202-225-2861
CA D, Honda, Rep Mike, 202-225-2631
CA D, Lee, Rep Barbara, 202-225-2661
CA D, Roybal-Allard, Rep Lucille, 202-225-1766
CA D, Schiff, Rep Adam, 202-225-4176
CA R, Calvert, Rep Ken, 202-225-1986
CA R, Lewis, Rep Jerry, 202-225-5861
CT D, DeLauro, Rep Rosa L., 202-225-3661
FL D, Boyd, Rep F. Allen, 202-225-5235
FL R, Crenshaw, Rep Ander, 202-225-2501
FL R, Weldon, Rep Dave, 202-225-3671
FL R, Young, Rep C. W. Bill, 202-225-5961
GA D, Bishop, Rep Sanford D., Jr., 202-225-3631
GA R, Kingston, Rep Jack, 202-225-5831
IA R, Latham, Rep Tom, 202-225-5476
ID R, Simpson, Rep Mike, 202-225-5531
IL D, Jackson, Rep Jesse L., Jr., 202-225-0773
IL R, Kirk, Rep Mark Steven, 202-225-4835
IL R, LaHood, Rep Ray, 202-225-6201
IN D, Visclosky, Rep Peter J., 202-225-2461
KS R, Tiahrt, Rep Todd, 202-225-6216
KY D, Chandler, Rep Ben, 202-225-4706
KY R, Rogers, Rep Hal, 202-225-4601
LA R, Alexander, Rep Rodney, 202-225-8490
MA D, Olver, Rep John W., 202-225-5335
MD D, Ruppersberger, Rep C. A. Dutch, 202-225-3061
MI D, Kilpatrick, Rep Carolyn Cheeks, 202-225-2261
MI R, Knollenberg, Rep Joe, 202-225-5802
MN D, McCollum, Rep Betty, 202-225-6631
MO R, Emerson, Rep Jo Ann, 202-225-4404
MS R, Wicker, Rep Roger F., 202-225-4306
MT R, Rehberg, Rep Dennis, 202-225-3211
NC D, Price, Rep David E., 202-225-1784
NJ D, Rothman, Rep Steve, 202-225-5061
NJ R, Frelinghuysen, Rep Rodney P., 202-225-5034
NM D, Udall, Rep Tom, 202-225-6190
NY D, Hinchey, Rep Maurice D., 202-225-6335
NY D, Israel, Rep Steve, 202-225-3335
NY D, Lowey, Rep Nita M., 202-225-6506
NY D, Serrano, Rep Jose E., 202-225-4361
NY R, Walsh, Rep James T., 202-225-3701
OH D, Kaptur, Rep Marcy, 202-225-4146
OH D, Ryan, Rep Tim, 202-225-5261
OH R, Hobson, Rep David L., 202-225-4324
OH R, Regula, Rep Ralph, 202-225-3876
PA D, Fattah, Rep Chaka, 202-225-4001
PA D, Murtha, Rep John P., 202-225-2065
PA R, Peter son, Rep John E., 202-225-5121
RI D, Kennedy, Rep Patrick J., 202-225-4911
TN R, Wamp, Rep Zach, 202-225-3271
TX D, Edwards, Rep Chet, 202-225-6105
TX D, Rodriguez, Rep Ciro D., 202-225-4511
TX R, Carter, Rep John R., 202-225-3864
TX R, Culberson, Rep John, 202-225-2571
TX R, Granger, Rep Kay, 202-225-5071
VA D, Moran, Rep Jim, 202-225-4376
VA R, Goode, Rep Virgil H., Jr., 202-225-4711
VA R, Wolf, Rep Frank R., 202-225-5136
WA D, Dicks, Rep Norm, 202-225-5916
WI D, Obey, Rep David R., Chair, 202-225-3365
WV D, Mollohan, Rep Alan B., 202-225-4172

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