The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) is expected to mark-up (take a vote) on the FY 2013 LHHS budget on Tuesday, June 12. This budget is the source of federal funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as well as funding for school libraries. Senator Mikulski serves on this subcommittee.
Please call Senator Mikulski at 202-224-4654 and ask her to support the following in the LHHS FY 2013 Appropriations bill:
1. Level funding of the LSTA at $184.7 million for FY 2013.
2. Level funding of the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program at $28.6 million for FY 2013.
Background on LSTA
LSTA is the primary source of annual funding for libraries in the federal budget. It is a population-based grant funded to each state through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an independent federal government agency. Each state determines how they will allocate their LSTA funds. In Maryland, the funds are used for state-wide services like the Summer Reading Club and AskUsNow, among other things. In addition, LSTA also supports Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services; National Leadership Grants to support activities of national significance that enhances the quality of library services nationwide and provide coordination between libraries and museums; and, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians which is used to help develop and promote the next generation of librarians.
Background on IAL
From 2002 to 2010, the Improving Literacy through School Libraries program had been the primary source for federal funding of school libraries. However, in recent years the President and U.S. Congress have consolidated or zero-funded this program. A special thanks to Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) who recognized that school libraries need a direct funding source in the federal budget and had the money redirected in the U.S. Department of Education for the IAL program.
Thank you in advance for making the call!