I am writing to you today to enlist your participation in an
association-wide advocacy campaign to protect funding for the Library
Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through
School Libraries program.
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Continuing
Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011.
The House version zeroed out the Improving Literacy Through School
Libraries program. Action now moves to the Senate, which is drafting
its own version of the CR.
This is the time to reach out to your U.S. senators by phone or email
– and, importantly, to urge others in your communities to do so as well.
The request to your senators is straightforward. In the Continuing
Resolution for 2011:
1. Maintain the 2010 funding level of $213.5 million for the
Library Services and Technology Act.
2. Maintain the 2010 funding level of $19.1 million for the
Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program.
Beyond these basic requests, I urge you to share with your senators
how you are using this federal funding and how the constituents of
your state benefit educationally and economically from library
services during these challenging times. Provide examples of how you
assist the public with online job searching, preparing resumes, small
business development, accessing online information and training, etc.
Inform your senators about the role school libraries play in ensuring
students graduate with the skills they need to be successful in
today’s workforce. The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries
program increases the literacy skills and academic achievement of
students by providing them with access to up-to-date school library
materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school library
media centers; and well-trained, professionally certified school
This is only the latest part of our ongoing need for grassroots
advocacy on federal appropriations and other library issues. The
federal government’s 2012 budget will be the next focus of Congress.
Your messages to the senators requesting 2011 support for the Library
Services and Technology Act and the Improving Literacy Through School
Libraries program will also influence their deliberations for the 2012
Your advocacy is vital to ensuring that our libraries remain a
fundamental force in America’s economic and educational future. As an
association – and as a profession – we must work together to have a
The ALA Legislative Action Center (http://capwiz.com/ala) can assist
you with contacting your senators. If you need further help, call Jeff
Kratz or Kristin Murphy with the ALA Office for Government Relations
Filed under: Advocacy |