The fight for library funding is on in the Senate
April 26 from Sherry Machones, NWLS Director - The Fight for Libraries! has moved to the United States Senate. Today, two “Dear Appropriator” letters began circulating in the Senate, one seeking $186.6 million for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the other $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Libraries (IAL) program for FY 2018. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are again championing funds for LSTA, while Sens. Reed, Grassley (R-IA) and Stabenow (D-MI) are leading the fight for IAL.
Senators have until May 19 to let our champions know that they will sign the separate LSTA and IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters, so there’s no time to lose. Use ALA’s Legislative Action Center (http://ala.org/takeaction) today to contact both of your Senators.
Many Senators will only sign if their constituents ask them to. Let them know why libraries are important to your community and ask them directly to show their support.
P.S. If you’ve been trying by phone to reach your Senator and the lines are busy, try Resistbot (https://resistbot.io/) instead.
Act Now To Save Internet Privacy Rules
On March 23 Republicans in the Senate voted to repeal Internet privacy rules passed by the FCC last fall. The legislation will be taken up immediately on March 28. If the House also votes to repeal the rules, the bill will go to President Trump, who is expected to sign it. Congress wants to repeal these rules by also forbidding the FCC from putting any similar rules in place in the future. Unless the bill fails in the House, the nation’s strongest privacy protections will not only be eliminated, they cannot be revived by the FCC. ISPs and service providers would be allowed to invade user privacy and monetize user data while putting cybersecurity at risk.
When Americans ask their Representatives not to take away their hard-won protections, the House will listen. Color of Change, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Free Press have simple ways for you to tell your Representative what you think of the FCC’s rules and Congress’ efforts to eliminate them.
Act Now to Help Save Library Funding
For a limited-time-only there is an opportunity to help avoid cuts that would impact hundreds of libraries and potentially millions of patrons. The President’s proposal last week includes eliminating the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which administers federal funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). (See pdf: WI Impact of IMLS.)
Today’s the day to ask for Representative Sean Duffy's signature on the LSTA “Dear Appropriator” letters that must be signed no later than April 3. Please take a few minutes to call, email, tweet (or all of the above!) his friendly office staff with a message stating you are a constituent requesting he sign the FY 2018 LSTA ‘Dear Appropriator’ letter circulating now for signatures before April 3.” For more information visit The District Dispatch from the Washington office of the American Library Association.
ALA Call to Action - Save the IMLS!
From the ALA Office, District Dispatch - The president’s budget has made clear that his funding agenda is not ours. It’s time for library professionals and supporters to make our priorities clear to Congress.
Timing is key to the Federal budget/appropriations process. There are several actions we can take right now:
- Call your Members of Congress – ask them to publicly oppose wiping out IMLS, and ask them to commit to fighting for federal library funding. (find their contact information)
- Share your library’s IMLS story using the #SaveIMLS tag – tell us how IMLS funding supports your local community. If you aren’t sure which IMLS grants your library as received, you can check the searchable database available on the IMLS website.
- Sign up to receive ALA action alerts – ALA will let you know when and how to take action, and send you talking points and background information.
- Register to participate in National Library Legislative Day on May 1-2, either in Washington, D.C., or online.
More information – along with talking points and scripts – will be forthcoming from the ALA Washington Office, particularly as it pertains to the upcoming advocacy campaign around “Dear Appropriator” letters.
President’s budget proposal to eliminate federal library funding 'counterproductive and short-sighted'
From ALA Office, WASHINGTON, DC — In response to President Trump's proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget, American Library Association (ALA) President Julie Todaro today issued the following statement:
"The President's proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget just released, and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds, is counterproductive and short-sighted. The American Library Association will mobilize its members, Congressional library champions and the millions upon millions of people we serve in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a Congressional reality. Libraries leverage the tiny amount of federal funds they receive through their states into an incredible range of services for virtually all Americans everywhere to produce what could well be the highest economic and social "Return On Investment" in the entire federal budget.
"America's more than 120,000 public, school, college and university and many other libraries aren't piles of archived books. They're trusted centers for technology, job counseling, retraining, veterans services, entrepreneurship, education, teaching and learning and free inquiry at the core of communities in every state in the country – and in every Congressional district. And they’re staffed by the original search engines: skilled and engaged librarians."
Share a Trip Down Memory Lane!
A great range of memory kits have been recently added to the collections of 21 libraries, designed with multi-sensory objects associated with the past to aid in triggering memories and sparking conversations that bridge time and strengthen relationships. The memory kits can be checked out and used for reminiscence and story-telling in classrooms, at family reunions, and with individuals and families affected by dementia. Reminiscence is particularly beneficial for individuals at various stages of memory loss and those with communication difficulties.
The memory kits are part of the Building Dementia-Friendly Libraries in Northern Wisconsin project addressing the informational and social needs of individuals with memory loss. Northern Waters Library Service led the project, creating 88 kits with themes that include babies, beach, birthday, Christmas, cooking, gardening, sewing, military, music and travel. Students of the Gerontology Program of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College provided support in the preparation of the kits.
The project encourages partnerships with community agencies providing support for people with dementia. Memory kits can be incorporated into “Memory Café” events that provide a safe, supportive, and engaging environment for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers. The Memory Kits are made possible by a Northern Waters Library Service grant supported by Library Service and Technology Act funds awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Instruction by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.