We are now entering the critical round two of the Fight for funding for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) / Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) funding. Please act quickly and be relentless!
ALA’s Washington Office has informed us that key decisions will be made regarding IMLS/LSTA and IAL by a special subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee called “Labor H” beginning in the upcoming week. Maryland’s own Andy Harris is on that special subcommittee and will play an influential role so it is essential that those who are his constituents phone and write Representative Harris as soon as possible—and that they spread the word to other pro-library constituents. See the links below and please act now.
ALA Washington Office tell us that : “If the “numbers” that the Subcommittee appropriates for IMLS, LSTA and IAL are low or zero, that will leave them in huge trouble as this first Subcommittee vote is by far the most important and influential in the entire appropriations process. That makes the members of the House “Labor H” subcommittee who represent you – especially its Chairman (OK) and seven other Republicans (AL, AR, ID, MD [Andy Harris], MI, TN, WA) – the most important members in all of Congress at this point when it comes to federal library funding for FY 2018.”
Remember that we were encouraged by another member of Congress to not give up on Representative Harris—that we can and will influence him if we continue to be determined and persuasive! Now that effort is of the utmost importance.
Don’t forget that numbers are critical! Harris Constituents, please call and write and also get the word out to your Friends, Foundations, Staff Associations, students, parents, etc. Congressional Aids will literally tally the number of calls and emails and tell Members of Congress the level of support for libraries.
Here are some of key facts and links:
- ALA asks Rep. Andy Harris’ constituents to contact their DC office immediately through the ALA Legislative Action Center to urge support for IMLS, and $186.6 million for LSTA and $27 million for IAL in FY 2018: the same funding levels for LSTA and IAL specified in the Dear Appropriator letters we all finished calling about just before Memorial Day. The ALA Legislative Action Center is all set to permit anyone entering a zip code in your Congressperson’s District to use its draft email message, or to customize the text as they wish. THEN, Call Representative Harris’s Office: 9am-5pm Monday-Friday DC Office Phone: 202-225-5311
- Maryland received 2.9 million dollars in LSTA funding in FY 2016. IAL, designed to help only the poorest school libraries, is supported Baltimore City Public Schools through a grant in 2016. Your examples of how IMLS/LSTA and IAL funds have impacted your county community are powerful with your representative. Consider examples regarding training, statewide leadership form the state library, support for innovation in services, evaluation, and increasing positive community impact. Loss of LSTA funds would devastate the State Library Agency (Division of Library Development & Services), as the funds are used for their operations, as well as to support state-wide training, MLA Conference programs, the Maryland Library Leadership Institute and more. LSTA issue brief available at: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/state-lsta-funding-history.
- Additional information about LSTA and IAL funds in Maryland are available on the Maryland Engage site.
Our determined efforts in May had a huge impact on the number of Dear Appropriator Letters from Maryland representatives. Let’s not lose that momentum as actual budgetary decisions for FY 2018 are being made by the House Appropriations Subcommittee and Rep Harris. Write and call and spread the word.