Redistricting in Nebraska
April 2000 may seem like a long time ago, but counting nearly 300 million people takes time. On December 28, 2000 the first results (apportionment totals) from the April 2000 census were delivered to the President and released to the public by the Census Bureau. They are available on the Internet at www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html. As of April 1, 2000 the resident population (total number of people in the fifty states and the District of Columbia) of the United States was 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2 percent over the 248,709,873 persons counted during the 1990 census. The apportionment totals transmitted to the President were calculated by a congressionally-defined formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to reapportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the states. Nebraska's seats have waxed and waned since statehood. We had one seat in 1860, based on a population of 28,841, three seats in 1880 with 452,402 people, and six seats in 1890 with 1,062,656. Representation shrank to five seats in 1930 (1,377,963), four in 1940 (1,315,834), and three in 1960 (1,411,330). Nebraska's 2000 population of 1,711,263 will be enough to retain our three seats for the next decade, but we will probably lose a seat after the next census. The redistricting data will be used to determine boundaries of Nebraska Legislative, Public Service Commission, State Board of Education, Board of Regents, and Judicial districts. At the local level it will be used to redraw city council district and voting precinct boundaries.
Several redistricting bills have been introduced in the Nebraska Unicameral this year and a special redistricting committee appointed. LR 7 establishes guidelines for the process, including using county boundaries and recognizable landmarks where possible, not favoring one political party over another, not considering political or other demographic characteristics of the population, not enacting boundary changes that dilute the voting strength of minorities (this would violate the equal protection clause of the Voting Rights Act), and accepting adjusted data if the Census Bureau determines it to be the most accurate count. LB17 would give authority for changing Omaha City Council districts to the City Council instead of the Douglas County Election Commissioner. This responds to controversy over whether the Election Commissioner should have waited for the Census 2000 data before changing boundaries. Information on redistricting in Nebraska is available at the Legislature's redistricting Web site at www.unicam.state.ne.us/districts/. Specific detailed information will be available beginning with the release of Public Law 94-171 data (redistricting data summary file) by April 2001, and continuing on a flow basis through 2003. Contact Beth Goble, 402-471-4017, 800-307-2665, e-mail: Beth Goble.
Editor's Note: Look for another Special Report by Beth Goble in the summer issue of NCompass, when Beth will discuss the details and implications of the Census 2000 redistricting data for Nebraska and how librarians can use this information to better serve their customers.
Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
In December 2000, the US Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, legislation to enact the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Internet Protection Act (NCIPA). The Acts place restrictions on the use of funding available through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and on the Universal Service E-rate telecommunications discount program. These restrictions establish requirements for public libraries and schools to adopt Internet safety policies and install technology that blocks or filters certain material from being accessed through the Internet. The law will become effective on April 20, 2001.
Implementation of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish rules and regulations for the E-rate program, and the development of guidelines by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Department of Education for LSTA and ESEA grant programs. The regulations and guidelines will provide the more specific details and requirements for CIPA.
The ALA Washington Office and Office for Intellectual Freedom have created a CIPA Web site at www.ala.org/cipa.
Summer Reading Themes Suggested
The Library Commission's Youth Advisory Board met in January to discuss summer reading program themes for 2004 and 2005. A list of suggested themes is available on the Commission Web site, , search on Summer Reading Themes. Forward suggestions to Mary Jackson, Nebraska Library Commission Children's and Young Adult Services Coordinator, 402-471-4006, 800-307-2665. Mary will attend the eleven-state coordinating committee meeting in Boise, Idaho in April.