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Use August town hall meetings to tell your member of Congress about the importance of libraries

Now that the debt ceiling crisis has been “resolved,” library supporters need to focus on how we save funding for crucial library programs like the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and school libraries. There will be deep financial cuts resulting from the debt agreement and we must work to show why library funding is not the place to make these cuts. Here’s how you can help in the month of August:

 Step 1: Contact your member’s district office to see if they have any town hall meetings coming up. You can find contact information for your Congressional representatives at this site:

 Step 2: Think of examples and stories of how your local library provides essential services to your community. Emphasize how these services are free to users and of a minimal cost to taxpayers. Show your elected officials how cutting library funding hurts the community, especially in this tough economy. The ALA Washington Office has resources for you to use.

  • For the latest issue briefs, click here
  • To visit our Advocacy University page, which includes our “Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit,” click here

 Step 3: Attend a town hall meeting to share stories and information with your elected official. As a bonus, you will not only be informing your official but also other citizens in the audience who may not know about all the resources a 21st century library can provide.

 Step 4: Invite your elected official to visit a public or school library to show them firsthand the services libraries offer. The following resources can help you set up your meeting:

  • For our “Get Legislators in Your Library” webinar, click here
  • For a list of steps to take in setting up a Congressional visit of your library, click here

 If you have any questions or need additional materials, contact Ted Wegner in the ALA Washington Office at or 800-941-8478.

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