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Defend library funding: the time is now!

Barrels of money
Photo by Victor Dubreuil

Are you letting the opportunity to defend library and literacy funding slip by? Are you expecting others to call on Congress to fund our vital programs?

Now is the time for ALA members to make the case for continued funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Strong support at the beginning of the Appropriations discussion on Capitol Hill sets the tone now as Appropriators seek programs to reduce funding for and/or eliminate.

We cannot let this happen. Several letters are circulating among Members of Congress supporting these programs and we need to ensure as many Members of Congress as possible add their names to these letters. It is imperative this week that Members of Congress show support for continued funding for these important programs.

ALA members must contact their Senators and Representative this week and ask their boss to sign these letters. Staff from your Congressional offices must contact the staff members listed below to let them know their boss will sign the letters. The deadline for House letters is Friday while Senate letters are due early next week.

Please take a few minutes and contact your Members of Congress. You can find their contact information and talking points at our action center.

  • LSTA Letter – The Library Services and Technology Act is the primary source of federal funding for libraries in the federal budget. The bulk of the program is a population-based grant funded to each state through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  •  IAL Letter – The Innovative Approaches to Literacy ensures children and schools in underserved communities have access to books and other reading material and services. Through IAL programs, children are better prepared to succeed in high school, college, and in 21st century jobs.
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Kevin Maher

Kevin Maher is the deputy director of government relations at the American Library Association’s Washington Office. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before coming to the ALA in 2014, Kevin was the vice president of government affairs for the American Hotel and Lodging Association for 20 years.

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