Only 72 hours to go! Ask your senator to support library funding!

Email or phone your senators offices now to support library funding and ask your library supporters to do so as well!’  Please feel free to forward this message.

To take action, please take the following steps:

  1. Please go to http://capwiz.com/ala/ and click on “call your senators now to support library funding.”
  2. Scroll down and customize the sample email message as you see fit — remember, a brief but personal story on how your library and its staff help your community matters the most!’  Change the subject heading to “please sign the Dear Appropriator letter for libraries.”
  3. Enter your contact information.
  4. Press “Send Message.”
  5. If you would prefer to call your senators offices, feel free to dial the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask for your senator.’  The switchboard will transfer you to their office.’  If you don’t know who your senator is, visit here and type in your zip code http://capwiz.com/ala/.
  6. Please ask your friends and supporters to call.’  We need as many individuals to contact the senators as possible so they know this is an important issue and that voters want them to support it.

We only have 72 hours to go!’  The deadline for these “Dear Appropriator” to be received by the Appropriations Committee is April 14, so it is important that you email or call your senators offices today, as well as encourage others to do so, and ask them to sign onto a “Dear Appropriator” letter that is circulating around the Senate. This letter will be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be asking the committee to support the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program in its FY2011 budget.

Background on the Programs and What We’re Asking For

LSTA

Congress is currently drafting the federal budget for fiscal year 2011.’  It has never been more important than now that Congress fully funds the LSTA, the only annual source for federal funding to libraries.’ ‘  As Congress writes next year’s budget they need to understand that dollars from the state and local levels are at an all-time low, and libraries cannot continue to do their important work without this funding.

In this “Dear Appropriator” letter that is circulating around in the Senate, the signatures are urging the Appropriations Committee to include $300 million in funding through LSTA in the FY2011 budget.’  Please email or phone your two senators’ offices and tell them about the work your library does in the state and community.’  It is always a good idea to stress what programs and resources your library provides to help build the local economy, help kids with their homework, and so much more.’  After you have explained how libraries are an incredibly valuable investment, please ask your senator to sign onto the “Dear Appropriator” letter supporting LSTA and Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL).

School Libraries

In his FY2011 budget request, President Obama consolidated Improving Literacy Through School Libraries with five other literacy programs. This would mean that school libraries will have to directly compete with other dissimilar programs to receive federal dollars under the President’s plan.’  However, Congress is drafting their own budget for FY2011 right now, and there is no word yet if they will go along with President Obama’s recommendation of consolidation.’  Congress needs to hear from you NOW about the important role that school libraries play in today’s schools.

Right now there is a letter circulating around the Senate urging the Appropriations Committee to specifically appropriate $100 million for the ILTSL program.’  This amount would make money available to every state, rather than the current competitive grant program.’  Please email or phone your two senators’ offices explaining to them how important having a school library can be in a child’s education.’  Please ask them to sign on to the ILTSL and LSTA “Dear Appropriator” by customizing the email message accessible from http://capwiz.com/ala/.

The deadline for the “Dear Appropriator” letter is April 14, so please email and phone your senators offices today and urge them to sign on!’  Also, please ask your friends and library supporters to contact their senators as well – we need to keep the pressure on our elected officials so these programs receive the funding they need.

If your senator is on this list below, please thank them.’  They have already signed onto the “Dear Appropriator” letter:

Reed
Snowe
Lincoln
Wyden
Leahy
Johnson
Brown, Sherrod
Bingaman
Stabenow
Akaka
Cardin
Menendez
Begich
Levin
Boxer
Udall, Tom
Kohl
Durbin
Sanders

Published by

Stephanie Kuenn

Stephanie Kuenn is the communications specialist for YALSA, where she is responsible for YALSA's web content, publications, and media relations. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in library and information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys baking, watching sports, and reading. Her favorite book is "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren.