[AISLE-Share] Good News! Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY2019 Library Funding

Email list for the Association of Illinois School Library Educators aisle at list.railslibraries.info
Fri Jun 29 12:41:57 CDT 2018

The following was posted on the ALA website today. Written by Kevin Maher,
deputy director of government relations, here is what he had to say--

The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved level funding
for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative
Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs, rejecting the administration’s call
to eliminate funding for these important library programs. The Committee
approved a $2 million increase for the Institute of Museum of Library
Services (IMLS), which administers LSTA, to cover administrative costs.

Yesterday’s action comes two days after the Labor, Health and Human
Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee of
the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill. The full Senate will
take up consideration of the spending bill after the July 4 recess,
although timing has not been announced.

ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo greeted the news as a positive signal,
saying, “Defending federal funding for libraries is no small matter. There
is more competition than ever for a piece of the shrinking budget pie.
But ALA members are more committed than ever to advocating for
our libraries. As Congress heads home for the July 4 recess, ALA members
should take the opportunity to invite their elected leaders to visit their
local library and *show* them how federal funding for libraries makes their
congressional districts stronger.”

Last week, the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee approved
funding for LSTA and IAL, indicating wide support for library funding in
both chambers of Congress. The House Subcommittee provided additional
resources for Career & Technical Education State Grants and Title IV Part A
(school funding for well-rounded, healthy students, and technology). The
House Appropriations Committee deferred action on the Subcommittee bill
until after the July 4 recess. House leaders expressed a concern that
policy riders in the bill (unrelated to library funding) could make passage
of the bill problematic.

The funding levels in both bills should encourage us – and remind us that
the most impactful advocacy comes from year-round engagement with the
elected leaders who make decisions, not only about federal funding, but
also about policy issues that affect library professionals and the people
we serve.

If you have emailed your member of Congress, make a phone call. If you have
called, write a letter to the editor
<https://www.districtdispatch.org/2017/03/write-letter-editor/>. Most of
all, invite your representative or senator to visit your library, just like
Great River (Okla.) Regional Library did  last month
, to* show* them the difference your library makes in the lives of your
users, their constituents. Congress heads home today for the week-long July
4 recess, and will return home again for the traditional August recess
(shortened in the Senate), providing excellent opportunities to invite your
officials to visit.
It would be difficult for many school librarians to invite your
congressmanfor a visit in August as schools are just starting to gear up
for the new school year. However, you can send photos and tell your library
story about the impact of the library on student learning and information

Congress will be finalizing the FY 2019 budget during September and October
just as your school year is gearing up. Our advocacy for school libraries
requires keeping apprised of any changes to the proposed funding for

Lou Ann Jacobs
IASLE Legislation Chair

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