Increase or maintain current levels of federal funding for a wide range of job training, citizenship, business support, literacy, veterans assistance, technology access and training and other vital programs and services provided to millions of library patrons in virtually every U.S. city, school, and community.
The majority of federal library program funds are distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 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 funding for libraries most often 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.
ALA urges Members of the 115th Congress to:
- Reauthorize and fund the LSTA at $186.6 million for FY 2018 and FY 2019. Funds flow through the IMLS directly to states per a population‐based formula with a state match. States determine for themselves the best use of funds, which support such services as database access, computer instruction, summer reading, collection digitization, access to e‐books and adaptive technology, and bookmobiles among many others.
- Maintain level funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program at $27 million for FY 2018 and FY 2019. IAL is the primary source of funding for school literacy programs. Funding allows school libraries to modernize, purchase up‐to‐date books, promote family engagement in early literacy, and provide e‐books and other adaptive technology for millions of the nation’s students and underserved communities across the country.
- Oppose the FY2018 budget proposals to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services, LSTA, IAL, Title IV Part A, and other vital library programs. If implemented, the proposed cuts would decimate or preclude programs that support student literacy, job training, business expansion, entrepreneurship, veterans’assistance, high‐speed internet access, and millions of library patrons in communities everywhere.
In addition to advocating for LSTA and IAL funds, the Washington Office communicates to Congress about the importance of funding federal libraries, like the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine. We also lobby for increases for adult education and literacy and look for opportunities for libraries of all kinds to become involved in education programs like those for early childhood education.
Key Communications (2016 — 2018)
- Letter to Senate and House Appropriations Committees about FY 2018 Library Funding (February 22, 2018)
- Coalition Letter to Congress about preserving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (November 13, 2017)
- 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 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 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 9, 2016)
Staff Contact Information
Deputy Director, Washington Office
- FY 2018 Senate Letter on LSTA (May 25, 2017)
- FY 2018 Senate Letter on IAL (May 25, 2017)
- FY 2018 House Letter on LSTA (April 6, 2017
- FY 2018 House Letter on IAL (April 6, 2017)
- FY 2017 Federal Funding for Library Programs (Updated on 7/12/16)
- FY 2017 House Signatures on IAL and LSTA "Dear Appropriator" Letters
- FY 2017 Senate Signatures on IAL and LSTA "Dear Appropriator" Letters
- Appropriations on District Dispatch