Posts Tagged 'FY2019'

Advocacy Alert! New! Ask Your Rep to sign Dear Appropriator letters for LSTA & IAL, #FundLibraries

March 15th Update: We’re almost there! Here are the results so far:

  • Signed neither letter: Harris, Hoyer
  • Signed LSTA letter only, not IAL: Brown, Cummings, Ruppersberger
  • Signed both LSTA and IAL letters: Delaney, Raskin, Sarbanes – Please use Engage to thank them!

Original post:

This is a new request for action on the FY19 budget. Although the President’s budget proposal recommends the elimination of most federal funding for libraries, Congress has the ability to restore funding and they are currently working out the details of the FY19 budget. There are now Dear Appropriator letters circulating in the House that ask Representatives to preserve at least $210 million in federal funding for libraries, including the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Getting enough signatures is key because it demonstrates the importance of and support for preserving library funding.

None of Maryland’s Representatives have signed on yet. Because Representatives Harris and Ruppersberger both serve on the Appropriations Committee, it is unlikely that they will sign a letter to themselves. However, it is still important to contact them to ask for their support because they can choose to include LSTA and IAL in their list of funding priorities. As the Minority Whip, Representative Hoyer also typically does not sign onto letters, but it is just as important to let him know about our funding needs. Visit the letter tracker for up-to-date information about who has signed on; click on the name to see complete information.

The deadline to sign on is March 19th. Last year, Brown, Cummings, Delaney, Raskin and Sarbanes signed onto both the LSTA and IAL letters. Ruppersberger included LSTA and IAL on his list of funding priorities. Only Harris and Hoyer did not sign on.

See the ALA Action Center for more details and a links to send email or tweet your Representative. Thanks in advance for your 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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