More from our friends at the ALA Washington Office:
Now that we are finished with the House, the "Dear Appropriator" letters have begun circulating in the Senate, asking Senators to preserve over $210 million in federal library funding for FY 2019. One letter asks the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the second asks for full funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.
Why It Matters
The more Senators who sign these letters, the better the chance that the funding for the LSTA and IAL programs will be preserved, especially as the battle for domestic spending becomes more intense and Members of Congress look for programs to cut. These programs represent the bulk of federal funding provided for libraries. IAL is the only dedicated federal funding provided for school libraries. Moreover, under the rules of LSTA, states are required to match one third of their federal contribution. This means any cut to LSTA in the FY2019 budget will lead to a budget reduction at the state level.
What You Can Do Now
Many Senators will only sign a "Dear Appropriator" letter if their constituents ask them. Use the Action Center to send your Senators an email and ask them to contact Senator Reed's office to sign on to the LSTA and IAL letters.
Please support federal library funding, which has been instrumental in allowing libraries to help improve the digital experience.