Sending Office: Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By:
Naomi.Miguel@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14TH @ 12PM

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in sending the letter below to support an increase in funding to at least $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the fiscal year 2019 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 is a critical program 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 Naomi Miguel in my office (Naomi.Miguel@mail.house.gov).

 

Sincerely,

 

Raùl M. Grijalva

Member of Congress

———————–

XXX, XX 2018

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 at least $187.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and
Education Appropriations bill. 

Libraries serve a vital role in our communities, offering free access to essential information on a wide range of topics, skills and career 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 an American Library Association (ALA) survey, 100 percent of public libraries reported offering free Internet access.  In rural areas, more than 83 percent of libraries report they
serve as their community’s only provider of free Internet and computing services.  At a time when applications for many jobs and government services must be filled out online, 90 percent of public libraries offer technology training while 76 percent help people
use e-government resources.

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 prepare resumes and conduct job searches.  Libraries are also enabling patrons to innovate
with 3-D printers and makerspaces and create business plans and growth strategies through access to specialized collections for small businesses.  They also provide tailored assistance such as services to veterans to help them acquire the tools to re-integrate
back into civilian life. 

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, during this time of increased demand, 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 greatly appreciate the support for LSTA by this Subcommittee in past years.  We urge you to provide at least $187.6 million this year, the same level provided by the bi-partisan Senate Subcommittee for FY 2018, and to prioritize funding increases for
the grants to states program.  Doing so will 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,

 

Raùl M. Grijalva

Member of Congress

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Education, Technology

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