After almost a week of activity around ALA’s intensive appropriations campaign and less than a week until the House “Dear Appropriator” letter deadline, we wanted to check in and let you know how things are going.
As you may remember, this campaign is part of our annual push to get as many Members of Congress to sign “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. These programs add up to over $210 million in library funding that meets a variety of needs throughout the library world. (For more information about LSTA, IAL, and the appropriations process, check out the recent article written by Committee on Legislation Chair Ann Dutton Ewbank.)
The good news is that the campaign has received a lot of support and interest from the library world and beyond. In fact, as of March 28, 2017, over 6,300 emails to 426 (out of 435) Representatives have been processed through the ALA Action Center. This number does not include anyone who sent their emails through one of the ALA State Chapter sites, or who sent their email independent of the Action Center, so we hope this number is only a small reflection of the number of contacts Congress has likely received about the “Dear Appropriator” letters. Additionally, 8,949 tweets have been posted using the #SaveIMLS tag, and 224 of those tweets were specifically directed at Representatives through the Action Center.
The bad news is that we still have a long way to go. In response to this action, there are currently 98 signatures on the IAL letter (we had 124 last year), and 42 on the LSTA letter (88 last year). Keep those calls and emails going!
We have until April 3rd to get signatures from the House. If you want to know if your Representative has signed the LSTA and IAL letters, check out this handy database. If your Representative hasn’t signed, give them a call and ask them! And if they have, a thank you call or email never hurts.
Time is running out to get the support we need for LSTA and IAL. Head over to the ALA Legislative Action Center to find talking points and email templates, or visit our friends at 5calls.org and use their script to make a call!