Appropriations

Libraries of all kinds need money. The amount of funding that a library receives directly influences the quality of its services. The majority of federal library program funds are distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to each state. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is part of the annual Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. Also, the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant program from the U.S. Department of Education supports school libraries and non-profit literacy organizations working to improve reading skills at the most critical early years of a child’s development. While the majority of funding for libraries comes from state and local sources, federal funding provides critical assistance, giving libraries across the country the financial support they need to serve their communities.

In addition to lobbying for LSTA and IAL funds, the ALA's Washington Office specifically communicates to Congress about the importance of funding federal libraries - like the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, the National Library of Medicine, etc. - as well as programs in the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. We also lobby for increases for adult education and literacy. In addition, we look for opportunities for libraries of all kinds to become involved in education programs like those for early childhood education.

2016 Library Appropriations Fact Sheet

ALA Key Communications

  • Coalition Statement to House Appropriations Committee Urging Members to Support Full Funding of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants Program (SSAEG) at $1.65 billion (July 11 2016)
  • Letter to Senate Legislative Branch Subcommittee on Appropriations Opposing Inclusion of Library of Congress Subject Heading Provision in Legislative Branch Appropriations Legislation or Report (May 18 2016)
  • Letter to House Appropriations Committee Requesting Removal of “Library of Congress Classification” Language from Legislative Branch Appropriations Legislation (April 28 2016)
  • Coalition Letter to House and Senate Subcommittees on LHHS Appropriations Urging Them to Reject the Administration’s FY 2017 budget proposal to eliminate funding for Impact Aid Federal Properties (April 26 2016)
  • Testimony submitted by Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director, ALA Washington Office, before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies  (April 15 2016)
  • Testimony submitted by Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director, ALA Washington Office, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies  (April 15 2016)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Members of Congress to House Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in support of $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) (March 24 2016)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Members of Congress to House Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations urging continued support for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program (March 24 2016)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Senators to Senate Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in support of $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)  (March 17 2016)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Senators to Senate Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations urging continued support for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program  (March 17 2016)
  • Coalition Letters to House and Senate Appropriations LHHS Subcommittees Requesting Robust Funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG), found in Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (March 17 2016)
  • Coalition Letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committees Urging as High a Funding Level as Possible for FY 2017 Labor-HHS 302(b) Allocations (February 22 2016)
  • Press Release: ALA disappointed at White House budget cut to state grants to libraries (February 09 2016)
  • Letter from ALA and Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to House and Senate Subcommittees on LHHS Appropriations Urging Them to Restore LSTA to Pre-Sequester Levels (November 05 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to Congress from 2,500 Organizations Seeking Sequestration Relief (September 10 2015)
  • Communications and Correspondence Archive

About OGR

The American Library Association is the nation’s oldest and, at over 55,000 members, the largest organization of library professionals in the nation. As part of the ALA Washington Office, the Office of Government Relations (OGR) is charged with following and influencing legislation, policy and regulatory issues of importance to the library field and the public. In coordination with its sister office, the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), OGR’s mission is to ensure that libraries are consistently, actively and constructively involved in all relevant federal legislative and policy decision-making processes.

Staff Contact Information

Kevin Maher
Assistant Director
Office of Government Relations
kmaher@alawash.org

American Library Association
Washington Office
1615 New Hampshire Ave NW, 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20009-2520
Phone: 202-628-8410
Fax: 202-628-8419       

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