Call Your Representative in the U.S. House TODAY to Preserve Library Funding

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

March 30, 2017

(via Lindsay Harmon, IACRL President, on behalf of ACRL)

I'm asking you, as an ACRL member, to take 5 minutes today to pick up the phone and call your elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ask him/her to preserve federal library funding by signing on to two "Dear Appropriator" letters being circulated by fellow Representatives who are library champions. One letter supports the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the vast bulk of which is the Grants to State program, population formula funding administered by IMLS, and the other for the Innovative Approaches to Libraries (IAL) program within the Department of Education. With an April 3 deadline for your Representative to sign these letters, time is of the essence. Please call your Representative today!

Find the phone number and message you'll convey to the friendly office staff of your Representative at the ALA Legislative Action Center; it’s simple:

“Hello, I’m a constituent. Please ask Representative  ________ to sign both the FY 2018 LSTA and IAL ‘Dear Appropriator’ letters circulating for signature before April 3.”

This year, like never before, libraries and everyone who loves them must fight for libraries and tell their members of Congress to support full federal funding. A bit of background: in mid-March 2017, the President of the United States proposed eliminating virtually all federal library funding along with the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the agency that distributes most library funding to every state in the nation. Now budget-cutters in Congress are considering whether to follow his lead. While the President proposed eliminating many agencies, Congress is unlikely to defund IMLS wholesale but is likely to severely cut or eliminate "line item" appropriations for specific programs -- like LSTA and IAL -- that are not demonstrably very broadly supported in Congress. The "Dear Appropriator" letter process underway right now is THE first and best way to demand that critical support from every member of Congress.

Again, the deadline for your Representative to sign on is April 3 so please call your Representative today! The bottom line is about the bottom line: the more Members of Congress who sign the LSTA and IAL letters, the better the chance that the Appropriators will not cut those critical programs. Read more in the ACRL Insider blog post.

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