Posts Tagged 'Appropriations'

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!

Obama’s FY 2015 budget request provides supports School Librarians

President Obama’s FY 2015 budget includes $200 million in funding for ConnectEDucators, a new program for professional development for school librarians, teachers and leaders who provide high-speed internet access to students. Training will ensure that these educators are well-prepared to use high-speed internet resources in a way that improves classroom instruction and student learning.

The budget request also includes funding for school librarians through the Department of Education’s Race to the Top program. Through the Equity and Opportunity Program, states and school districts with high poverty areas will need to establish a means of keeping their best educators, including school librarians, in their schools.

For more information, please see the District Dispatch post.

Obama Releases FY 2015 Budget; Includes LSTA cut and no funds for school libraries

On March 4th, President Obama released his FY 2015 budget. It includes $178.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which is $2 million less than in FY 2014. No money is provided for school libraries.

Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), said in a conference call with stakeholders that IMLS will be working on a National Continuing Education Platform to ensure continued education of library employees on new services and technologies.

For more information, please see the District Dispatch post.

Congress passes Omnibus Spending Bill for FY 2014

Last week, the U.S. House and Senate passed a bill to fund the federal government through FY 2014.  This legislation partially restores funding to the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and other funding sources for libraries that were significantly cut by sequestration in FY 2013. LSTA appropriations increased from $175,044,000 in FY 2013, to $180,909,000 for FY 2014.

Unfortunately, the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant funding, of which half must go to low income libraries, has only been funded at $25 million, which is a $2.4 million cut from FY 2013 funding levels.

This bill also included a positive change to increase online accessibility to tax-payer funded scientific research. Designated federal agencies will be required to provide online access to some articles no more than 12 months after the articles have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their elected officials!

For more details, see the District Dispatch post.

Action Alert! Ask Congress to Support Libraries in Appropriations Bill

Congress recently passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, paving the way for the House and Senate Appropriations Committee to begin work on the FY 2014 Federal Appropriations Bill.

Senator Mikulski and Congressman Harris each serve on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee for their respective Committees on Appropriations.

Please call Senator Mikulski and Congressman Harris and encourage them to support libraries in the FY 2014 Federal Appropriations Bill by supporting the following items:

  • Fund the Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) at the pre-sequestration levels of $184.7 million.
  • Fund Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) under the Department of Education at the pre-sequestration levels of $28.6 million.

To find contact information for Senator Mikulski and Congressman Harris, visit Capwiz.

Government Shutdown – Impact on Library Services

The following was shared by the American Library Association (ALA)Washington Office.

While the ALA Washington Office remains up and running, the shutdown will have a noticeable impact on library services across the country. To name a few:

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is closed and will be unable to disperse grants and funds to libraries as part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
  • U.S. Census websites and collection surveys will be unavailable until the government is funded.
  • The Government Printing Office (GPO) is closed. Gpo.gov will not be updated during the shutdown. Federal Register services will continue in a limited capacity.
  • The Library of Congress will be closed to the public and researchers for the duration of the shutdown.

 

 

Senate Committee recommends increase in LSTA funding

The Senate Appropriations Committee is recommending an increase to $157,266,000 for the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program and an increase to $13,200,000 for National Leadership Grants.  This is more than a $7 million increase over the President’s request for FY 2014. To make this a reality, this increase must be passed by the Senate and prevail in the House-Senate conference for FY2014 appropriations.

Please take a moment to contact Senator Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and thank her for the proposed increase in LSTA funds and her support of libraries. It only takes a few minutes and you can easily do this using Capwiz. Thanks in advance!



%d bloggers like this: