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Advocacy Alert! Support FY17 LSTA & IAL funds with Dear Appropriator letters

Your help is needed to protect federal funding for libraries, including the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Please contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to sign the Dear Appropriator letters. More talking points and how to contact your elected officials appear at the links below.
Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!

House Passes Every Student Succeeds Act! Advocacy Alert: Ask Senators to Vote Yes

The House passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Wednesday, December 2nd, with the inclusion of many of the school library provisions! More information, including a link to a list of the school library provisions, is available on the District Dispatch, or view the  American Library Association (ALA) Press Release.

Many thanks to everyone who called, emailed or tweeted their Representative in the House! Congressmen Cummings, Delaney, Edwards, Hoyer, Sarbanes and Van Hollen all voted for the bill. Please take a moment to thank your Representative. (Congressman Ruppersberger did not vote.)

Advocacy Alert! The bill now moves to the Senate, where a vote is expected to occur next week. Please take the time to contact Senators Mikulski and Cardin asking them to vote Yes on the ESSA Conference Report. The American Library Association (ALA) Engage site has additional information needed to call or email the Senators. You may also tweet the Senators.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide!


Legislative Tracking

Important information from CQ Roll Call about Understanding the Legislative Tracking

Check out the ALA Blog post.

SCOOP!  ALA Washington Office Encourages Inter-Chapter Fight

Take Action For Libraries

Congress’ process for funding programs is in full swing and millions in federal funding for libraries hang in the balance. There’s never enough money to go around, and Members are always looking for programs to “zero out” so they can reallocate those budgets to their pet projects. Right now, the real keys to saving library funding from the chopping block – particularly the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs — are the members of the powerful House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Your Representative in the House and two Senators have influence with those Committee members, so it’s important that your Members let the Appropriations Committee know of their support for continued library funding.
The best way for them to do that is to sign what we call “Dear Appropriator” letters that three Members of Congress who are huge library champions have drafted to the members of the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate. The more Members of Congress that we can get to sign these “Dear Appropriator” letters, the better the chance of preserving and securing real money for libraries.
But there’s a catch – Members of Congress generally only add their names to “Dear Appropriator” letters if they hear from their own constituents. Right now, it’s your Senators and Representative in the House who needs to sign LSTA and IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters.
With the March 20 deadline for signatures fast approaching, it’s urgent that you email or phone your own Senators and Representative today by calling (202) 225-3121 and ask the Operator to connect you to the offices of your Seantors and Representative (you can find out who that is easily through the links below). Ask the person who answers to ask their boss to add their name to “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting LSTA and IAL currently being circulated by our champions in Congress. To see whether your Members of Congress signed the letters last year, view the FY 2015 Funding Letter Signees document (pdf). If so, please be sure to thank and remind them of that when you email or call!
BACKGROUND INFORMATION LSTA is the only source of funding for libraries in the federal budget. The bulk of this funding is returned to states through a population-based grant program through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Libraries use LSTA funds to, among other things, build and maintain  21st century collections that facilitate employment and entrepreneurship, community engagement, and individual empowerment. For more information on LSTA, check out this document LSTA Background and Ask (pdf). IAL is the only federal program supporting literacy for underserved school libraries and has become the primary source for federal funding for school library materials. Focusing on low income schools, these funds help many schools bring their school libraries up to standard. For more information on IAL, view School Libraries Brief (pdf).< /td>
  Congressional staff your Member should contact to sign…
HOUSE STAFF/ CHAMPION Norma Salazar (Representative Raul Grijalva) Don Andres (Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson)
SENATE STAFF/ CHAMPION Elyse Wasch (Senator Jack Reed) Elyse Wasch (Senator Jack Reed)James Rice (Senator Charles Grassley)
Background material can be found on District Dispatch. Click the links below to call or email your Senators and Representative.

Click to Call

Send an Email

Advocating From Home. NLLD

Your advocacy is crucial  to help us get more funding for Library Service Technology Act, support school libraries, and provide library users with access to scholarly journal articles.
If you are unable to be in Washington DC on May 4, 5, 2015,  for National Library Legislative Day,  you can still advocate for libraries from home   See ALA’s information below about advocating from home.
 Advocate from Home

Advocates who cannot travel to Washington for National Library Legislative Day can still make a difference and speak up for libraries. As an alternative, the American Library Association sponsors Virtual Library Legislative Day, which takes place on May 5, 2015. To participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day,register now for American Library Association policy action alerts.

National Library Legislative Day Video

Below is a  video about National Library Legislative Day  from the ALA Grassroots Coordinator.  It is your support and advocacy that will educate the elected officials about the value of libraries.

Remember also that you can use our new advocacy tool, ENGAGE,  to contact your elected officials to tell them how useful our libraries are to the over 3 million library users, and to those who walk through our doors seeking information on workforce and educational opportunities. Click on our Take Action button and tell your library story:

Past Posts

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