Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, September 17, 2007

Note to US citizens

The American Library Association has created an action alert to simplify the process of asking your Senators to support the strengthening of the NIH policy.  However, it doesn't contain a default message and requires users to compose their own or paste one in.

Charles Bailey has solved this problem with a strong, ready-to-paste message based on public texts (in particular, this one and this one) by the ALA, ARL, ATA, and SPARC .

No more excuses.  If you're a US citizen, please contact your Senators before September 28, and please spread the word to others.  (Thanks, Charles!)

Update.  If you start with Charles' prepared message, please modify and personalize it.  That will greatly enhance its credibility.  Here's some good advice from Kara Malenfant of the ALA:

ALA and ACRL recommend that you personalize your messages to Congress. The ALA alert contains talking points, instead of a form letter, and we hope you will use them to construct your own message. There is a huge issue right now with Congressional offices disregarding stock emails and letters. (In fact, over half of Congressional staffers believe the form-emails they receive from constituents are sent without the constituents' knowledge.) We encourage you to show your legislators the real effect that this legislation will have on people in your community. Personal stories bring the message to life. For help read tips on telling an effective story from the ALA Washington Office.

Update. Another possibility is to use the new (September 20) letter at ProgressiveSecretary. (Thanks to Dorothea Salo.) However, users don't have an opportunity to modify or personalize the text. In light of Kara's advice, above, it may be better to write your own or modify the Bailey text, and then use the ALA form to deliver it.