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.
In December, Congress passed an FY16 spending bill. It included a slight increase in LSTA funds from $181 million in FY15 to $183 million in FY16, as well as a $2 million increase to $27 million in FY16 for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. See the District Dispatch article for details.
Published March 13, 2014
advocacy , Federal
Tags: Action Alert, advocacy, Appropriations, Budget, FY 2015, IAL, Innovative Approaches to Literacy, Library Services and Technology Act, LSTA
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.