Sending Office: Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By:
Dylan.Hughes@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in signing the letter below asking for a $17 million increase for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
Appropriations bill. LSTA, which was authorized in 1996 and reauthorized just last year, 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, for the third time the Trump administration’s budget proposal eliminates federal funding for libraries 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 us in this request please contact Marilyn Zepeda,
Marilyn.Zepeda@mail.house.gov in Rep. Grijalva’s office or Truman Reed, Truman.Reed@mail.house.gov in Rep. Young’s office.

Sincerely,

Raúl M. Grijalva                     Don Young

Member of Congress              Member of Congress

 

 

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro

The Honorable Tom Cole

Chair

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 Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole:

 

We write to urge your support for the education, workforce, and economic development needs of Americans by providing a $ 17 million increase from the current level of $189.3 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the fiscal year 2020
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.  This amount is necessary to implement changes included in the recently enacted Museum and Library Services Act.

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.  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 and 76 percent help people use e-government resources.  And, as the 2020 census prepares to go paperless, libraries are gearing up to assist patrons in responding 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 prepare resumes and conduct job searches.  Libraries help entrepreneurs 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 access earned benefits and 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 continue to face cuts and severe budget pressures, leading to closures, reduced hours, and/or staff reductions.  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.  With the recently enacted Museum and Library Services Act, Congress strengthened LSTA to support data driven tools to tailor services to address and meet community needs, help libraries prepare for and provide services
after a disaster or emergency, enhance services for Native Americans, and recruit and train library and information science professionals from a broad range of backgrounds.  The new law also enables increases in the Grants to States program to be shared more
broadly across states, while ensuring no state loses funding.

Increasing funding for LSTA, by providing a $17 million increase for the Grants to States program, 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 attention to this request and your continued support in sustaining and strengthening our nation’s libraries.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Education, Family Issues

Related Deadline Information

Deadline Title: March 21st
Deadline Start: 3/13/2019 3:00:00 PM
Deadline End: 3/21/2019 8:00:00 PM

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