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Important Message from ALA President Roberta Stevens Regarding School Librarians

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

librarians.

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

funding levels.

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

strong voice.

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

at 1-800-941-8478.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Roberta Stevens

ALA President

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