Contact Congress to Support Library Funding in the FY17 Budget

Please use ALA’s super easy web page and take a minute to email and Tweet your members of Congress and ask them to support library funding in the FY17 federal budget. The messages are pre-populated—all you need to do is provide your name and contact information to ensure it goes to the proper members of Congress. If you have the time, you’re also encouraged to phone their offices. Your help, and these funds, make a huge difference in what libraries and library staff can do for their patrons.

It’s that time of year when Congressional cost-cutters sharpen their budget knives and go looking for under-supported federal programs to slash or discontinue. Last year, Paul Ryan, who is now Speaker of the House, proposed completely eliminating the federal agency for libraries (IMLS) and with it over $200 million in funding for libraries (the Library Services and Technology Act—LSTA, and Innovative Approaches to Literacy–IAL). Both of these critical funding streams for libraries are potentially on the chopping block this year and it’s up to you to help save them.  

Library champions in Congress are now circulating “Dear Appropriator” letters to their colleagues urging members of the powerful Senate and House Appropriations Committees to fully fund LSTA and IAL (See the letters here).

These “Dear Appropriator” letters carry tremendous weight with the Appropriations Committee. The more Members of Congress who sign them, the more likely LSTA and IAL – and the millions of Americans they help every year – are to survive and thrive.

Time is short! Please, contact Congress now and encourage others to do so as well. The goal is to get at least 250 signatures on the House letter and 60 on the Senate one. Your help, and these funds, make a huge difference in what libraries and library staff can do for their patrons in every corner of the country.

-Beth Yoke

P.S. National Library Legislative Day is May 3rd! Check out YALSA’s wiki for easy ways you can participate from your home state.

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