From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By:
david.gellman@mail.house.gov

Date: 3/27/2017

Cosigners: Cardenas, Sablan, Yarmuth, McNerney, Takano, Frankel, Cicilline, Loebsack, Lowenthal, Tonko, Davis (IL), Clarke, Langevin, Shea-Porter, Lewis, Capuano, O’Halleran, DeFazio, Cleaver, Cohen, Pocan, Pingree, Thompson (CA), Connolly, Carson,
Esty, Soto
Deadline: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Dear Colleague:
Please join me in sending the letter below to support an increase in funding to $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services,
and Education Appropriations bill. LSTA, which was authorized in 1996, provides grants for libraries in every state to support summer reading programs, develop resources for families with differently abled children, work with local business community to expand
their online presence, and acquire technology tools to close the “digital gap” in rural and underserved communities, among many other initiatives. Unfortunately, in the Trump administration budget blueprint proposal, the Institute of Museum and Library Services
(IMLS) was eliminated, and many libraries are facing cuts and severe budget pressures, leading to closures and reduced hours. LSTA is the only federal program that helps public libraries meet community needs, provide enhanced services through technology, reach
underserved populations, and retain librarians while recruiting new entrants to this important field.
Every day, libraries provide no-fee public access to computers and the Internet in many rural and underserved communities, giving increased access to children, students, adults and businesses. According to a recent American Library Association report,
65 percent of all libraries nationwide say they are the only provider of free internet access in their communities.  In rural areas, public libraries are even more critical, with 73 percent reporting they serve as their community’s only free internet provider.
LSTA has been a critical program for supporting libraries around the country.  Federal support for libraries encourages improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness of library services, enhances shared public access to information, promotes the use of technology,
encourages the sharing of resources, and results in other collaborations and outreach not feasible across local and state boundaries. I urge the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to provide at least level funding for
LSTA in order to continue to provide these urgently needed services.
If you have any questions or would like to join me in this request please contact David Gellman in my office (David.Gellman@mail.house.gov).
Sincerely,
Raul M. Grijalva
Member of Congress
———————–
March XX, 2017
The Honorable Tom Cole                                            The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Chairman                                                                  Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and                            Subcommittee on Labor, Health and
Human Services, and Education                                 Human Services, and Education
House Committee on Appropriations                            House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, D.C. 20515                                             Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:
We write to urge your support for the education, workforce, and economic development needs of Americans by providing $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
Appropriations bill.
Libraries serve a vital role in our communities. Even as the economy shows signs of improvement, patrons continue to turn to their local library for free access to essential information on a wide range of topics, skills training, and computing services.
Every day, libraries across the country provide no-fee public access to computers and the Internet in some of our most distressed communities. According to a recent American Library Association (ALA) report, 65 percent of all libraries nationwide say they
are the only provider of free Internet access in their communities. In rural areas, 73 percent of libraries report they serve as their community’s only free Internet provider. This access is critical at a time when applications for many jobs and government
services must be filled out online.
Libraries, however, provide more than just Internet access. According to another ALA report, more than 92 percent of public libraries offer services that help patrons conduct job searches, create resumes, access training for technology and technical skills,
and innovate through the use of 3-D printers and makerspaces. Libraries also provide resources and specialized collections for small businesses to help in the creation of business plans and the development of new growth strategies.
Moreover, libraries expose children to books and information to help them gain and enhance their literacy skills. Numerous surveys show that many of our nation’s children living in poverty have very limited access to books at home. These children depend
on their local libraries’ story-time and summer reading programs to help them prepare to learn in school and succeed.
Unfortunately, in the Trump administration budget blueprint, many libraries are facing cuts and severe budget pressures, leading to closures and reduced hours. LSTA is the only federal program that helps public libraries meet community needs, provide enhanced
services through technology, reach underserved populations, and retain librarians while recruiting new entrants to this important field. Consisting of a state formula program, which is amplified by a state match, and competitive grants, LSTA is more essential
now than ever.
We urge you to provide $186.6 million this year, and no less than current funding for the grants to states program. With this funding level, we can help ensure that Americans of all ages have access to libraries, Internet, and information services; the
resources they need to develop literacy skills and achieve academically; and the services and tools to search for, find, and create jobs.
Thank you for your continued support in sustaining and strengthening our nation’s libraries.
Sincerely,
Raúl M. Grijalva
Member of Congress