JACKSON, MS, March 9, 2023 – Jackson/Hinds Library System’s Floyd Council, Executive Director attends ALA Congressional Fly-in Washington D.C. #FundLibraries.


Floyd Council, Executive Director of the Jackson/Hinds Library System has been invited to attend the ALA Congressional Fly-In on March 8th & 9th in Washington, D.C with leadership support of the Library Administrative Board of Trustees. The American Library Association funds all expenses for selective Library Directors and State Officers to come to Capitol Hill, meet with congressional leaders and fight for federal funding. Council is servicing on the Mississippi delegation with Hulen Bivins, Executive Director of the Mississippi Library Commission, with support from Emily Durkin with the American Library Association.  “It is an honor to serve on national advocacy delegation with Mr. Bivins who is a 50-year library industry veteran and passionate leader.”  As a native of Shelby, Mississippi, Council is an American Library Association Spectrum Diversity Scholar who has worked in Public Library leadership for over 20 years. Council earned a Master of Library Information Science from Florida State University in 2007.  Council’s professional service has included work at Atlanta Fulton County, Birmingham Public Library, Broward County, the University of Chicago, and DC Public Library.  This event takes Council back to DC where he served as Assistant Director at DC Public Library, 10 years ago and contributed to the early planning phase of what is now a newly completed $211 Million renovation of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library.  “As I consider the community, education, technology, and historic infrastructure needs of American Libraries, I am honored to lend my voice to the advocacy fight for federal funding that will help to sustain state and local funding all over America with a solid 2024 Budget,” said Council.  There is a connection between federal, state, and local library funding. “Public libraries can’t survive on the same local budgets for 5 and 10 years with the cost of staffing, goods, services, and facilities maintenance going up annually, with historic inflation during the last three years.  Every time our state budget is cut, our federal funds to the state are at risk of being reduced. Additionally, every time our local funding is reduced percentage wise, our state funding via the Mississippi Library Commission is reduced and requires a special maintenance of effort waiver.  This special waiver has been required of JHLS for the last 4 budget years. The Jackson Hinds Library System and many other library buildings in the State of Mississippi are in failing condition due to the lack of federal, state, and local infrastructure dollars to support proper deferred maintenance, major repairs, and new construction. “Our iconic Eudora Welty Library has been in disrepair for 10 years and our Richard Wright, Willie Morris, and Medgar Evers require immediate repairs to keep the facilities operational.”


The American Library Association (ALA) and Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) jointed forces for the first Library post pandemic advocacy day since 2020. Ed Garcia serves as the ALA Legislative Advocacy Committee Chair, and Julie Walker from Georgia Public Library Services is the current COSLA President.


Federal Funding Request: Washington, D.C. 

$232 Million for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 

$50 Million for Innovative approaches to Literacy Act (IAL) 

$20 Million for Library Infrastructure 

National Advocacy Meetings: 

March 9, 2023, is ALA Congressional Fly-in Day for National Delegations representing ALA target legislation states: Hulen Bivins, Executive Director of Mississippi Library Commission, Floyd Council, Executive Director of Jackson Hinds Library System, and Emily Durkin, ALA Washington office will meet with the following congressional leaders representing Mississippi: 

-Senator Roger Wicker (R).  Scheduled appointment. 

-Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) Scheduled appointment 

-Bennie Thompson (D) On-the-fly meeting 

-Michael Guest(R) On-the-fly meeting 

-Trent Kelly (R) On-the-fly meeting 

-Mike Ezell (R) On-the-fly meeting 


State Funding Request: Jackson, MS 

Asking approval for MLC FY 24 Budget HB1615 

Asking opposition to HB 1315 and SB 2348 


State Advocacy Meeting: 

March 9, 2023 is Library Legislative Day at the Mississippi State House.  The event will take place from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.  on the first-floor rotunda at the Mississippi State Capitol.  Mississippi Library Association President Phillip Carter, Director of Starkville Public Library, State Delegates, and Mississippi Library supporters will advocate in Jackson. 


Scheduled State Delegation for Library Day in Mississippi:  

  • Central Mississippi Regional Library System  
  • East Mississippi Regional Library System 
  • First Regional Library System 
  • Jackson Hinds Library System (Rickey Jones, Trustee) 
  • Kemper Newton Library System 
  • Madison County Library System 
  • Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System 
  • Natchez-Judge George Armstrong Library 
  • Starkville-Oktibbeha County Public Library System 
  • Sunflower County Library System 
  • University of Mississippi (Ashley Dees) 
  • Vicksburg Junior High School (Mary Ann Peoples) 


Learn more: https://www.ala.org/advocacy/advocacy-public-policy 

Learn more: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2023/pdf/history/HB/HB1615.xml 

Learn More: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2023/pdf/history/HB/HB1315.xml 


About Jackson Hinds Library System: 

We provide public library service to urban metropolitan Jackson and Hinds County Mississippi, the state capital. Our goal is to provide quality service through our 14 locations. We currently operate under our historic 1986 City/County agreement, but our history dates back to our original Jackson Carnegie Library founding in 1910. 


For more information and updates, visit jhlibrary.org 

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