Published May 24, 2016
advocacy , Federal
Tags: advocacy, Budget, FY 2017, IAL, IMLS, Innovative Approaches to Literacy, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services and Technology Act, LSTA, Training
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!
IAL and LSTA “Dear Appropriator” letters: Update
Many thanks to everyone who responded to the Advocacy Alert! and contacted members of Congress to request signatures on “Dear Appropriator” letters in support of funding for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The American Library Association (ALA) reported that we gathered as many signatures in Congress as we did last year. ALA has posted a “Champions” chart to show who signed onto which letters. We had some success with our Maryland members of Congress:
- IAL: Senator Cardin and Representatives Cummings, Delaney and Sarbanes
- LSTA: Senator Cardin and Representative Van Hollen
- Note: As Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski often does not sign onto letters, but still appreciates being contacted.
If you have not yet already done so, please contact these members of Congress to thank them for their support of IAL and LSTA! Engage is an easy tool to use to make this contact.
IMLS, IAL and LSTA funding still at risk
Despite this success, for the second year in a row the House Budget Committee released a resolution that suggests that all federal library funding, including money for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), be eliminated in order to achieve the House majority’s goals for cutting the budget. Although the resolution is a non-binding document, it is a concern because it conveys the majority’s philosophy. This also means that IAL and LSTA funding is still at risk.
For more information, please see the District Dispatch blog post.
Please stay tuned for more calls to action in support of IMLS, IAL and LSTA funding.
In early February, President Obama sent Congress his $4.23 trillion FY17 budget request. Among other cuts, the budget request includes over $500,000 less in funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). However, Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) was submitted with level funding at $27 million. This was the first time that the President included any funding for IAL.
For more information about funding levels for other library programs, see the District Dispatch post.