Posts Tagged 'advocacy'



Advocacy Alert! Federal Library Funding Cut in FY 2019 Proposal

The FY19 federal budget proposal includes no funding for libraries. The American Library Association Washington Office (ALA-WO) is planning multiple advocacy approaches. See below for more information and the first step that you can take to advocate for funding. A status update on the FY18 budget is also provided.

What Happened

This week, the White House released its budget proposal for FY2019. As we anticipated, the budget proposed a significant cut to federal library funding. The administration’s budget proposal eliminates the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides approximately $183 million in direct funding to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The budget proposal also eliminates the $27 million Innovative Approaches to Literacy program administered by the Department of Education.

Why It Matters

These proposed cuts would impact many libraries across the country. While public and school libraries would see the largest effects, academic libraries with state-funded databases are also implicated. Since each state is required to match one-third of their federal LSTA grants, any cut to LSTA in the FY2019 budget is likely to lead to a cut on the state level. In addition, the cuts to IAL specifically target school library funding, which will make it harder for vulnerable schools to acquire the books, resources, and training needed to provide high-quality literacy programs for their students.

Wait, What Happened to the FY 2018 Budget?

Last week, Congress passed and the president signed an FY2018 budget deal that will likely include at least level funding for federal library programs at FY 2017 levels. While this budget agreement is a positive step towards resolving the FY 2018 budget, Congress will still be working on the final spending bill for a few more weeks. The ALA Washington Office will continue to monitor progress on the bill.

What You Can Do Now

Congress will have the final say on budget allocations for these programs in the FY2019 budget. Now is the time to let them know how important federal library funding is to their constituents. Use the ALA Action Center to send your Representatives an email  and ask for their public support of library funding throughout the FY2019 appropriations cycle.

This will be a many-step process and we will need your help at key times along the way. Stay tuned for updates.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 

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Advocacy Update: Net Neutrality has support of 50 Senators

Good news! Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have both given support to net neutrality and signed on as co-sponsors of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution! This bill, which has bipartisan support, would block the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of the net neutrality rules. Please take the time to thank Senators Cardin and Van Hollen for their support. You can call their office, or use Engage to send an email. Simply delete the pre-written message and enter your show of appreciation.

The advocacy work is not done. At least one more Republican co-sponsor is needed in the Senate, there must be a bill in the House and the Congressional action would require the President’s approval. You can use Engage to contact your Representative in the House to let them know what they can do to support net neutrality. More details are available on the District Dispatch.

Thanks in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 

Advocacy Alert! Make LSTA and IAL a funding priority!

Many thanks for all of the calls, emails and tweets! Congressman Brown, Cummings, Delaney, Raskin and Sarbanes signed onto the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) letters! Please take a moment to thank them for their support.

Our next step focuses on Congressman Ruppersberger. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, he can put LSTA and IAL on his funding priorities list. Please call (202-225-3061) or fax (202-225-3094) his office, especially if you live in his district. If you do not, you can still make the contact because he represents Maryland on the Committee. Check out the map of his district, or enter your address on Engage to identify your elected officials.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Advocacy Alert! Save IMLS, LSTA and IAL!

As you have probably heard, President Trump’s FY18 federal budget proposal eliminates all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This would include the elimination of all federal funding to libraries and the impact on Maryland libraries would be significant. A few statements and articles:

The American Library Association (ALA), both as a whole and its many parts, have been working to prevent the elimination of IMLS. Your advocacy is also very much needed. Here are a couple of ways that you can help now:

1. Ask Representatives to sign onto Dear Appropriator Letters asking for full funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL): This is a very tangible way to show support for IMLS, who receives and distributes these funds to states. You can use Engage to call, email or tweet your Representative. The email engagement does include a pre-written letter that you can personalize to increase the impact. Representatives must sign on by April 3rd. For more information, including a link to the letters, see the District Dispatch article.

In Maryland: Check this database from the ALA Washington Office to see who has signed on to each letter for this year (FY18) and who signed on last year (FY17). Filter by state to see Maryland’s elected officials. As members of the Committee on Appropriations, Representatives Harris and Ruppersberger cannot sign the Dear Appropriator letters, but can include LSTA and IAL in their list of priorities. Last year, Representatives Cummings, Delaney and Sarbanes signed onto the IAL letter, but no Representatives signed onto the LSTA letter. It is critical to have everyone who can sign on this year.

2. Tweet with the hashtag #SAVEIMLS: Share your IMLS story about how funding supports your local community. Search the database of grants at to learn about grants awarded. See more information on how the tweets are being tracked.

Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide! More opportunities to advocate will be shared as they become available.

 

Email Privacy Act passed in House

The Email Privacy Act (HR 387) passed by voice vote in the House on Monday night. Many thanks to everyone who reached out to their Representative to encourage support of the bill!

The bill now moves over to the Senate. The American Library Association Washington Office and its partners in the Digital Due Process Coalition are working together to strategize the advocacy efforts for the Senate. Stay tuned for another request for advocacy.

For more information, see the District Dispatch article.

 

Advocacy Alert! Contact House before Mon 2/6 on Email Privacy Act

Your action is needed on or before Mon 2/6! From the American Library Association Washington Office:

“On Monday, February 6, the entire House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 387 using a special procedure that will protect it from amendments and expedite the process. That procedure (known as a suspension of the rules) also requires that it receive support from two-thirds of the Representatives voting, not as a simple majority. The bill should have no trouble clearing that hurdle. Given how many Members of Congress and their staffs are brand new-and how important this vote is-we cannot afford to sit back and watch.

“With the crucial vote on H.R. 387 set for Monday, we have no time to lose. Help us send the Email Privacy Act to the Senate with another unanimous vote in the House. Contact your Representative now.”

Background: This the same Email Privacy Act that was unanimously passed in the House last year (HR 699), then stalled in the Senate. If passed, it would extend 4th Amendment privacy protection to emails, texts, tweets, cloud-stored photos and files, and other electronic communications.

Last year’s vote was unanimous, and all of MD’s Representatives who were in office last year voted for the bill (Cummings, Delaney, Harris, Hoyer, Ruppersberger and Sarbanes). Congressmen Harris and Cummings were also co-sponsors of the bill. It is still critical to ensure that they vote in support of the bill this year.

Take action! Please take a moment on or before Mon 2/6 to contact your Representative via email (a pre-written letter is provided), phone or tweet using Engage at http://cqrcengage.com/ala/. Additional background information and talking points are also available at this link.

Thanks in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 

Advocacy Alert! Protect LSTA and IAL Funding

Although the President’s FY 2017 budget proposal includes level funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), libraries are still being cut. Funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is cut by over half a million dollars. Keeping LSTA funding at $186.6 million would allow libraries to continue critical programs. The proposed budget does include level funding for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) at $27 million.

The Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be working on the IMLS budget mark up as early as next week. Senator Mikulski is a member of this subcommittee. Please take a moment to contact the Senator and ask her to continue her long-standing support of libraries by keeping IAL funding at $27 million and restoring funding to LSTA at $186.6 million. Talk about how the LSTA cut will negatively impact library services. Check out this LSTA handout created by Maryland’s Division of Library Development and Services (DLDS) to see how LSTA funds are used to transform lives statewide. For more information on how to contact Senator Mikulski, go to the American Library Association’s Engage website and click on Send an Email (provides a pre-written letter), Make a Call or Send a Tweet.

Thanks in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 


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