Long and winding road

It’s shaping up to be a very interesting week, involving many a long and winding road…

Yesterday, the Ohio Senate passed SB 5 (with some amendments to its original version) by a margin of just 1 vote (17-16). (If you want to see exactly how it all went down yesterday in the Ohio Senate – including who voted for what – check out the Ohio Senate Journal for Mar. 2, 2011.).

So now SB 5 is on its way to discussions in the Ohio House. According to the Columbus Dispatch: “If the bill passes the House, Gov. John Kasich said he will sign it. After that, Democrats and union leaders anticipate going to the ballot to ask Ohioans to overturn it.” So it should be a long and winding road before we know what the real end result of all of this will be.

I suppose that could explain the last line of today’s Ohio Library Council email regarding the legislation: “When the final version of the legislation is passed, we will provide a complete and thorough legal review of the Bill and how it impacts public libraries.” I guess I can’t really blame them for not wanting to do too much in-depth analysis until the thing is actually in its final form, since any or all of it could always be revised (or fail entirely). Then again, on the other hand, through all of this, I would have really appreciated some more in-depth analysis about all of it – what exactly does all of this mean, for me, in plain English? I’m sorry, but I don’t subscribe to the idea that all public employee union members should automatically think every word of this bill is evil. I’m going to need a little more in the “how does this affect me, really?” category. Anyway, moving on… Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Also yesterday: My federally-employed husband and I were glad to learn that another continuing resolution was passed for the federal budget, and Obama signed it. So government shut-down has been averted for another two weeks. Now if those guys in Washington could only agree on enough stuff to pass a real one for the rest of the year and then maybe, I don’t know, get started on the budget they need to pass before October, so we don’t have a repeat of this past fiscal year…that would be great.

(There’s an interesting poll going on at FedSmith.com right now as to whether a government shutdown is expected and whether the employees will get paid anyway. The results are showing that readers expect a shutdown but think that employees will get paid anyway; however, I would be hesitant to make my bets on anything right now!)

I never meant for this blog to have so many entries about legislation, but there’s just so much crazy stuff going on right now in that area, that affects my profession, that it’s hard not to get sucked into camping the news sites for the latest updates…and then wanting to talk about them here.

But enough on that for now. The other “long and winding road” in my life this week is a road trip to Bloomington, Indiana, for a conference. (Okay – I don’t know that the road will be “winding” – I’ve never been there – or even that you could really call it all that “long” – it’s about 160 miles, mostly interstate, and should take about 3 hours. But…anyway.)

I’m attending Indiana University’s Society of American Archivists student chapter conference “Preserving Our Cultural Heritage: A Conference for Students and Beginning Professionals on Archives, Rare Books, and Special Collections.” I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never been to IU before, although the IU School of Library & Information Science was definitely on my “short list” in 2006 when I was considering whether/where to go for grad school to become an archivist. (They even have a dual degree in MLIS/History, which was pretty tempting. But in the end, I went back to Wright State; what can I say? it felt like I was going home, and it’s pretty hard to put a price on that. But wait, where was I…? Oh right…IU.)

IU Libraries’ Preservation Lab has a pretty awesome online repair/enclosure preservation manual that I reference a lot in my work, also. As a matter of fact, part of the conference includes a 2-hour workshop on paper conservation, and I’m really looking forward to that. (Actually, the conservation workshop and the $30 registration fee were pretty much what sold me on this conference. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the sessions and tours, too, though!)

So, stay tuned for updates… I’m sure I’ll be blogging about the conference – probably from my hotel room. (Actually the conference itself has a blog, too.) And you know I’ll have more to say as the details of the whole SB 5 thing are further hammered out… Oh, and let’s not forget the upcoming state budget release (which will probably be scary) and this summer’s upcoming union contract negotiation at my library (the last one – in ’08 – dragged on for months, and that was before things even got bad!).

The long and winding road, indeed.

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