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.

2015 Library Funding Fact Sheet

ALA Key Communications

  • 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)
  • Press Release: ALA advocates for library funding at congressional hearing (April 29 2015)
  • 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 29 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to House Committee on Appropriations Urging Restoration of FY 2016 302(b) Allocation for Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee(April 20 2015)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Senators to Senate Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in support of LSTA (March 27 2015)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Senators to Senate Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in support of IAL (March 27 2015)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Members of Congress to House Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in support of LSTA (March 26 2015)
  • "Dear Appropriator" Letter from Members of Congress to House Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in support of IAL (March 26 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to House Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in Support of the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program (March 26 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to Senate Subcommittee on LHHS Appropriations in Support of the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program (March 26 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to House and Senate Subcommittees on LHHS Appropriations in Support of Impact Aid (March 23 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to Representative or Senator urging lawmakers to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction (February 18 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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