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IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Contact Your Senators and Ask Them to Support Federal Funding for America’s Libraries!

Please contact your Senators immediately and ask them to sign the “Dear Colleague” letters being circulated in the House and Senate in support of funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program.

The Senate letter was started by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and is addressed to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation Subcommittees and requests that the Senate include President Bush’s request of $214.432 million for LSTA and increased funding for the Improving Literary Through School Libraries program for fiscal year (FY) 2009.

LSTA and Improving Literacy Through School Libraries are two of the most important federal programs for libraries today. If we don’t have every Senator sign on, the letter will not be taken seriously, and it will appear as if Members of Congress do not care about libraries. Programs that don’t have a vocal support network are in danger of being cut.

When you contact your Senator, you must ask him or her to call Elyse with Senator Reed or Nikki with Senator Collins, in order to co-sign the letter. DO NOT CALL Elyse or Nikki directly.

The deadline for Senators to sign this letter is THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 14.

Current signers include:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Hillary Clinton (D- NY)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Herbert Kohl (D-WI)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Barack Obama (D-IL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
John Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)

In comparison, last year’s signers included: Sens. Akaka, Baucus, Bayh, Biden, Nelson (Bill), Bingaman, Boxer, Brown, Burr, Cantwell, Cardin, Carper, Casey, Clinton, Collins, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Feinstein, Kennedy, Kerry, Klobuchar, Kohl, Landrieu, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Lincoln, McCaskill, Menendez, Mikulski, Obama, Pryor, Reed, Rockefeller, Sanders, Schumer, Smith, (Gordon), Snowe, Stabenow, Sununu, Tester, Whitehouse, and Wyden.

To view the “Dear Colleague” library letter click here.

To view the Library Funding Request letter click here.

Take Action!

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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