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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:

2015 WHCLIST Award

The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) and the ALA Washington Office are calling for nominations for the 2015 WHCLIST Award. This award is granted to a non-librarian participant in National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). The winner receives a stipend of $300 and two free nights at the Liaison Hotel. This year, NLLD will be held on May 4-5 in Washington, D.C.

To qualify for the award, applicants should be:

 A library supporter (trustee, friend, general supporter) and not a profession librarian.

 A first-time attendee of NLLD.

Application materials must be turned in no later than April 1, 2015.

To apply for the WHCLIST award, please submit a completed NLLD registration form; a letter explain-ing why you should receive the award; and a letter of reference from a library director, school librari-an, library board chair, Friend’s group chair, or other library representative to:

Lisa Lindle,   American Library Association

1615 New Hampshire Ave., NW

First Floor

Washington, DC 20009

202-628-8419 (fax)

Note: Applicants must register for NLLD and pay all associated costs. Applicants must make their own travel arrangements. The winner will be reimbursed for two free nights in the NLLD hotel in D.C and receive the $300 stipend to defray the  cost of attending the event. The winner will be notified by April 7, 2015

ENGAGE Legislative Action Center

Engage: Legislative Action Center

Engage is our new online advocacy tool  that has replaced Capwiz.  Engage will   distribute information about legislative issues and facilitate contact with elected officials. Engage is used by the American Library Association (ALA) for library advocacy at the federal level. ALA also makes Engage available to the Maryland Library Association (MLA) for Maryland library advocacy efforts. Check out  Engage at our MLA website

ALA site on Engage:

Show your support for libraries by using Engage to contact your  elected officials.

Digital Inclusion Survey

Data powers advocacy: Please log onto Digital Inclusion Survey today!

Five reasons public library staff should say “yes” to the Digital Inclusion Survey:

  1. ALA and the University of Maryland iPAC team have made the online platform as easy to use as possible, plus allowing folks to import last year’s data if you’ve participated before.
  2. We make it easy to leverage data for advocacy at all levels. Issue briefs, state summaries, reports and infographics provide bite-size pieces, context and visual appeal on the topics ranging from digital inclusion writ large to e-government and employment.*
  3. We don’t sit on our laurels. Have you looked at the new, interactive mapping feature that combines GIS, community demographic data and your library information on the fly? Your city and county managers thought it was pretty cool when we showed it to them.
  4. These data and the resulting reports allow you to see your library and its programs and services among libraries of similar sizes, and within a state* and national context, as well as your local community.
  5. ALA puts the data to work for you and your colleagues. We take these state summaries to senators; use the data to inform and bolster our policy recommendations, testimony and public comments; and publicize the heck out of what we’ve learned from all of you in media ranging from Fast Company to Governing magazine.

As often as you are asked to respond to a survey, we are asked to document why libraries need more funding through the federal E-rate program, to answer how many libraries offer 3D printers, and to show how libraries are helping supporting a 21st century workforce. I can’t credibly answer these questions without your help.

The Digital Inclusion Survey is open until November 22. Be the answer!

Past Posts

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