Your Help is Needed to Fight for Libraries!

This is National Library Week and a time to reflect on the vital role libraries play in our lives. The President has proposed wiping out all library funding – and the agency, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), that administers much of it – in his initial FY18 budget proposal. You also know thousands of librarians, library supporters, users, vendors and citizens in every Congressional district in the country used the ALA Legislative Action Center and many other channels to insist that their Representative in the House sign two “Dear Appropriator” letters to the Appropriations Committee asking them to preserve funding this year for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.

Well, you hit it out of the park at our first “at-bat” of the FY18 appropriations lobbying season. One-third of the entire House of Representatives (from both parties) signed each of those Dear Appropriator letters and nearly 170 Members signed at least one — an 18% increase in support for IAL and a record-shattering 64% increase for LSTA. (Visit this House tracker to see whether your Representative in the House signed.)

Now we absolutely have to keep the rally you started going (and going!) throughout this calendar year. Like baseball, it’s one at-bat and one inning at a time. If we are lucky we will even get a welcome seventh inning stretch this summer.

Next up: Senate Dear Appropriator letters for LSTA and IAL. Check this Senate tracker to see if your Senator signed last year and stay tuned for updates on who is signing this year.
Please Join the Fight!

The fight to save IMLS and critical federal funding for programs like LSTA and IAL has only just begun. Congress’ appropriations process will be continuing on many fronts throughout 2017 so the ALA’s Office of Government Relations will be issuing calls at every key opportunity for you to tell your Member of Congress and both U.S. Senators you want them to support full library funding. Don’t miss a single call to action and the chance to help!

And be sure stay tuned on May 1 and 2 during National Library Legislative Day. Plan to watch our live advocacy webcast on Virtual Library Legislative Day on May 1 and then contact your members of Congress by phone and electronically on May 2 while hundreds of your colleagues will be on Capitol Hill delivering our message in person.

Take Action Now!


Massachusetts FY18 Budget

Recently, the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means announced its FY2018 budget recommendation. State Aid to Public Libraries (Account 7000-9501) received an increase of 4.5% above what the Governor proposed in his budget.

We need your help to ensure that this increase remains through the  budget negotiation process and gets passed. Brad Hill is our representative at the state house. Please email him and let him know that we are counting on him.