The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is urging people to contact Representatives asking them to sign onto a “Dear Colleague” letter that would maintain adequate Library Services and Technology (LSTA) funding. Please act as quickly as possible, as the “Dear Colleague” will likely be sent soon. Please note that Congressman Ruppersberger is on the Appropriations Committee, which will be hearing these bills.
We need as many members of Congress as possible to sign onto the letter – remember, every other group is doing the same thing we are. If we don’t advocate for libraries and library funding, the money that should be allocated to us could go to other groups who are calling in louder and higher numbers.
Congress is currently busy drafting up the federal budget for fiscal year 2011. It has never been more important than now that Congress fully funds the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the only annual source for federal funding to public libraries. As Congress writes next year’s budget they need to understand that dollars from the state and local levels are at an all time low and libraries can not continue to do their important work with out this funding.
There is a letter circulating around the House of Representatives urging the Appropriations Committee to include $300 million in funding through LSTA in the FY2011 budget. Please go to Capwiz to find out the name and number of your Representative and call his or her office and tell them about work your library does in the community. There are no Action Alerts set up for this on Capwiz, but you may certainly use Capwiz to contact your Congressman electronically. It is always a good idea to stress what programs and resources your library provide to help build the local economy, help kids with their homework, and so much more. After you have explained how libraries are an incredibly valuable investment, please ask your representative to sign onto the “Dear Colleague” letter supporting LSTA.