The Fight for Libraries! has moved to the United States Senate. Library champions in the U.S. Senate are circulating two “Dear Appropriator” letters to their colleagues to preserve federal library funding, one seeking $186.6 million for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the other $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program for FY 2018.
We are aiming to get 51 United States Senators to sign letters by our Senate champions. So far, we’re doing okay, but not okay enough. The deadline for your Senators to sign on is tomorrow, May 19, so please call your Senators today!
The ALA Washington Office of Government Relations is maintaining an up to the minute and sortable online tracker showing which Senators have signed which letter(s). If yours haven’t already signed both the LSTA and IAL letters for FY 2018 please use ALA’s Fight for Libraries! webpage TODAY to contact both your Senators’ offices to ask them to sign both letters on or before May 19.
RIGHT NOW is the time! Pick up the phone and call your Senators. Can’t get through to DC? Try calling the local district office in your home state. The more members of Congress who sign these “Dear Appropriator” letters, the less likely LSTA and IAL are to be eliminated or cut. But they won’t sign unless you, their constituent, demands it.
Find the appropriate phone number at the ALA Legislative Action Center and use the sample message below to convey your support to the friendly office staff of your Senators. It’s simple:
“Hello, I’m a constituent. Please ask Senator ________ to sign both the FY 2018 LSTA and IAL ‘Dear Appropriator’ letters circulating for signature by May 19.”
Five minutes of your time could help preserve more than $210 million in library funding now at risk.
The other great news is that we’re not in this fight alone. As posted May 11 on District Dispatch by the ALA Office of Government Relations:
Today, that effort got an enormous boost when ALA delivered a powerful letter by eight leading national companies with collective revenue measured in billions of dollars (Baker & Taylor, Follett School Solutions, Gale/Cengage, OverDrive, Peachtree Publishers, Penguin Random House, ProQuest and Rosen Publishing) to the offices of all Senators who have not already signed both the Senate LSTA and IAL letters urging them to do so.
Even better, the companies’ letter is open to online signature by any other similarly supportive business, should they decide to join our campaign.
Corporate support is terrific, but if your Senators don’t hear from you – their constituents – they are far less likely to sign the “Dear Appropriator” letters. Please, check the sortable tracker tool to see if both of your Senators have signed both the LSTA and IAL letters and, if they both haven’t signed, contact them – or re-contact them if you’ve already reached out – TODAY.
Thank you for helping us continue the Fight for Libraries!