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Time is running out for LSTA and IAL – act now!

Hourglass running out of sand
by Judit Klein

Millions in federal funding for libraries is currently hanging in the balance. In order to saving library funding from the chopping block – particularly the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs —library supporters need to contact offices of their Representative and Senator and ask them to show support for continued library funding by signing “Dear Appropriator” letters about LSTA and IAL that three Members of Congress who are huge library champions have drafted to the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate. The more Members of Congress that we can get to sign these “Dear Appropriator” letters, the better the chance of preserving and securing real money for libraries so that libraries can continue to do all the great work they do in their communities.  The only way we can achieve this is through grassroots efforts.  Members of Congress need to hear from as many voters as we can rally to action.

Please email or phone your members of Congress and ask them to sign the Dear Appropriator letter supporting LSTA and IAL, then ask all other library supporters you know to do the same by no later than March 20th.  Contact info is available on our action center (just put in your zip code in the box on the lower right side).

To see whether your Members of Congress signed the letters last year, view the FY 2015 Funding Letter Signees document (pdf). If so, please be sure to thank and remind them of that when you email or call!  More information can be found on this earlier post.

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.
    • House LSTA Letter Contact: Rep. Raul Grijalva –  Norma Salazar-Ibarra (; 202-225-2435)
    • Senate LSTA Letter Contact: Sen. Jack Reed – Elyse Wasch (; 202-224-4642), or Sen. Susan Collins – Cameron O’Brien (cameron_o’
  •  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.


  1. MaryLei Barclay MaryLei Barclay

    The article was posted on March 20, but it says to contact your legislator no later than March 20th. So I’m wondering what is the actual timeline we are looking at.

  2. Thank you for asking! The post was part of a last minute push on the 20th, but the deadline has been extended until Thursday end of day. There is still time to call!

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