The time is now...

Fight for libraries! Tell Congress to save library funding. #saveIMLS American Library Association

Phase II of FY18 Fight for Library Funding in Full Swing and Getting Closer to Home

This spring, a record number of Members of Congress in both chambers indicated their support of the Library Services and Technology Act and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. That effort to ask all 535 Members of Congress to sign “Dear Appropriator” letters specifically backing $186.6 million for LSTA and $27 million for IAL in FY 2018 was Phase I of the Fight for Libraries! campaign. All that remains for Phase I is to thank your Representative in the House and your Senators if they signed the LSTA and IAL Dear Appropriator letters and to thank them with a call or email.

In Phase II, the focus shifts from the entire Congress to Subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The Subcommittees who are working now on the legislation that will eliminate, slash or save IMLS, LSTA and IAL funding in the coming fiscal year. If you’re a constituent of one of these key Subcommittee Members, you’ve got the ability to convince them to #saveIMLS and to provide the sums above for LSTA and IAL in FY 2018. We need every one of you to help get them that message.

Please use the ALA Legislative Action Center to find out whether you have a key constituent connection to these target Representatives and Senators. If you do, the Action Center will provide you with an email template you can send as is or personalize however you like.

We’ll be back soon with Phase III of Fight for Libraries!, which will be a full court press with every Member of Congress, especially in-person contacts with them and their staff over the August recess when they’re back home with you. In the meantime, thanks for your continued support.


Join the fight

The fight to save IMLS and critical federal funding for programs like LSTA and IAL has only just begun. Want to stay in the loop? Register for action alerts and timely District Dispatch posts with background information as soon as they are issued.


Help us tell Congress the best library story: yours

ALA, IMLS, state library agencies and many others inside and outside of government have lots of data about the impact of libraries. But nothing will move and motivate your local member of Congress and senators to support library funding like hearing your story about how federal library funding for LSTA, IAL or any other source has made a difference in your library, school and community.

Did they make your summer reading program possible? Did they fund your back-to-work, veterans’ benefits or computer coding for kids workshop? Did you use their funding to create a dedicated workspace for solo businesspeople, a science discovery, makerspace or learning lab? Does federal funding support your statewide database consortium that provides testing content for first responders? Do your databases help keep your undergraduate rural telemedicine program accredited?


Want to do more?

ALA offers a number of tools that will help you help us fight for federal library funding, now and through the end of 2017. We will be adding those resources throughout the year to Fight for Libraries! Campaign Tools. There you’ll find a wealth of templates, toolkits and advocacy tips.

Consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper! It’s easy, effective and will have a real impact on your member of Congress. Here’s how.

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