Action Alert! Contact Congress to sign Dear Colleague Letters in support of LSTA & IAL

Please take a few moments to contact your legislators in the House and Senate and ask them to support libraries. Ask them to sign two “Dear Colleague” letters in support of FY 2015 funding. If they signed on last year, please thank them and encourage them to sign on again. For greater impact, mention any personal stories about how your library benefits from this funding.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

Deadline – They must sign on by Monday, March 24th.

Why support it? The letter asks for level funding ($180.9 million from FY 2014). This is the primary source of funding for libraries in the federal budget and is used by public libraries to provide services.

For Senators:

  • Contact Senator Jack Reed’s (D-RI) office.
  • Last year Senator Cardin signed on to the letter. As Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski will likely not sign on, but she should still be asked to include LSTA on her list of what she cares about in the bill.

For Representatives:

  • Contact Representative Raul Grijalva’s (D-AZ) office.
  • Last year Representative Van Hollen signed on to the letter. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Representative Harris will likely not sign on, but he should still be asked to include LSTA on his list of what he cares about in the bill.

Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL)

Deadline – They must sign on by Wednesday, April 2nd.

Why support it? This competitive grant program provides $25 million to support school libraries and national nonprofit literacy organizations working toward childhood literacy. At least half of the funds for this program would go to low-income school libraries to help update books and materials.

For Senators:

  • Contact Senator Jack Reed’s (D-RI) office.
  • Last year neither Senator signed onto the letter. As Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski will likely not sign on, but she should still be asked to include IAL on her list of what she cares about in the bill.

For Representatives:

  • Contact – Democrats contact Representative Jim McGovern’s (D-MA) office. Republicans contact Representative Don Young’s (R-AK) office.
  • Last year Representatives Cummings, Delaney, Sarbanes and Van Hollen signed on to the letter. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Representative Harris will likely not sign on, but he should still be asked to include IAL on his list of what he cares about in the bill.

To identify and get contact information for your representatives, and also find additional talking points please see the Capwiz Action Alerts for the House and the Senate.

Thanks in advance for reaching out to your members of Congress!

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