Dear ALA Members,
I am writing to you today to enlist your participation in an association-wide advocacy campaign to protect funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program.
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. The House version zeroed out the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program. Action now moves to the Senate, which is drafting its own version of the CR.
This is the time to reach out to your U.S. senators by phone or email – and, importantly, to urge others in your communities to do so as well.
The request to your senators is straightforward. In the Continuing Resolution for 2011:
1. Maintain the 2010 funding level of $213.5 million for the Library Services and Technology Act.
2. Maintain the 2010 funding level of $19.1 million for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program.
Beyond these basic requests, I urge you to share with your senators how you are using this federal funding and how the constituents of your state benefit educationally and economically from library services during these challenging times. Provide examples of how you assist the public with online job searching, preparing resumes, small business development, accessing online information and training, etc.
Inform your senators about the role school libraries play in ensuring students graduate with the skills they need to be successful in today’s workforce. The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program increases the literacy skills and academic achievement of students by providing them with access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media centers; and well-trained, professionally certified school librarians...
The ALA Legislative Action Center (http://capwiz.com/ala) can assist you with contacting your senators. If you need further help, call Jeff Kratz or Kristin Murphy with the ALA Office for Government Relations at 1-800-941-8478.