Our Friends at the ALA Washington Office have shared a call to restore Library Funding. Please help!
This year's "Dear Appropriator" letters have started to circulate in the House, asking Representatives to preserve at least $210 million in federal library funding. One letter asks members of the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the second does the same for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.
Why It Matters
The battle for domestic spending is becoming more intense, and Congress is looking for programs to cut. The more members of Congress who sign these letters, the better the chance that the Appropriators will preserve the funding for the LSTA and IAL programs. And as you know from our previous emails, these programs represent the bulk of the federal funding that is provided for libraries. Under the rules of LSTA, states are required to match one third of their federal contribution. Any cut to LSTA in the FY 2019 budget will likely lead to a cut in library funding at the state level. Additionally, IAL is the only dedicated federal funding provided for school libraries.
What You Can Do Now
Many Representatives will only sign on to a "Dear Appropriator" letter if their constituents ask them! Use the ALA Action Center to send your representative an email and ask them to contact Rep. Raul Grijalva's office to sign on to the LSTA letter and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) to sign on to the IAL letter.
Time is short - the deadline for the letters is March 19th, so don't delay!
Not sure if your Rep. has signed yet? Check our tracker.
Need more information? Check out our lastest post on District Dispatch.
And stay tuned! The Senate will soon be circulating "Dear Appropriator" letters of their own. We'll be back with more updates soon.