Tag Archives: library legislation

Record Number of Senators Sign LSTA Letter (Thank You!)

Letter from Julie Todaro, ALA President:

Dear Members:

I never cease to be amazed by your passion, your tenacity, and your dedication. You are tremendous! Because of your efforts, I am pleased to report that last night Senator Reed’s staff delivered to the Appropriations Committee the LSTA letter of support with the signatures of 45 Senators along with the IAL letter supported by 37 members! The LSTA total sets a new record and the IAL total equals our previous record set in 2013. Thank you for staying with us every step of the way in this critical fight for funding.

It’s clear from these results and direct feedback from many Senators’ offices that ALA’s advocacy (more than 20,000 emails were sent to the Senate through our Legislative Action Center) led to this unprecedented showing of Senate support for LSTA and IAL, and implicitly IMLS. It could not have happened without the tremendous support of COSLA’s leadership and membership, along with the help of the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI) companies. This powerful combination of grassroots, grasstops and professional advocacy in both the House and the Senate—mounted and maintained intensively over the past two months—has placed LSTA and IAL in the strongest position possible at this point in the appropriations cycle. While we still have much more to do, these results are worth celebrating!

A few highlights to consider:

  • This year’s LSTA total of 45 tops last year’s support level by 33% and IAL’s by just under 20%.
  • Both the LSTA and IAL letters were bipartisan. You can find out which Senators supported the letters on our online tracker.
  • Every Democrat on the critical “Labor H” appropriations subcommittee signed both letters (Ranking Member Patty Murry of WA, given her position, was not expected to sign.)
  • 10 returning senators signed the LSTA letter who had not signed last year: Feinstein, Bennet, Carper, Nelson, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Udall, Casey, Kaine, and Warner.
  • All 5 freshman Democrats signed the LSTA letter (Harris, Duckworth, Van Hollen, Hassan, and Cortez Masto), and all but Duckworth also signed the IAL letter.
  • Every Democrat not in an “abstaining” leadership position signed the LSTA letter, other than Claire McCaskill of MO (she is supportive, but generally does not sign such letters).
  • 6 returning senators signed the IAL letter who had not signed last year: Coons, Collins, Merkley, Warner, Cantwell, and Manchin.
  • We did lose 2 signers from last year (Burr on LSTA and Wicker on IAL), but both stated that they continue to be supportive.

I want to thank the incredible staff of ALA’s Washington Office, particularly the Office of Government Relations, for their tireless dedication to this process. They, in partnership with their colleagues throughout ALA, helped us meet and exceed expectations as we faced the first few chapters in what’s sure to be an epic quest to protect this absolutely essential funding.

I’ll be in touch soon with everything you need to help us face the next challenge—the upcoming appropriations process. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Thank you,

Julie Todaro

ALA President

Governor Vetoes Budget Bills

Passing on our latest news on library-related budget issues. (This is a good time to promote our Postcard Party in the Park this week!! Join us Thursday, and share your voice in postcard form!)

Governor Vetoes GOP Budget Bills:

As promised, Governor Dayton vetoed a slate of GOP budget bills last Friday, including the E-12 bill. The Governor’s veto letter on the E-12 bill notes the insufficiency of 1.5% annual increases on the general education formula. He’s calling for 2% annual increases. That may not sound like much, but the difference is nearly $100 million. The repeal of his signature voluntary pre-K program (VPK) program is another reason for his veto of the GOP E-12 bill. You can read the rest of his veto message to the legislature here:


Once again all of the state’s budget business has piled up into the last week of the legislative session. Skeptics assume we’re heading toward a complete breakdown and a June special session. Others remain optimistic that with a $1.5 billion surplus they’ll be able to modestly satisfy GOP appetites for tax cuts and DFL spending requests.


Samuel P. Walseth

Capitol Hill Associates

525 Park Street, Suite 255

St. Paul, MN 55103

Contact your Senator’s Office by 5/19 to Support Libraries


Let’s do some advocacy together! Join us for the CMLE Postcard Party in the Park, May 18!


“All federal funding for libraries will disappear if Congress accepts Trump’s proposed FY18 budget.  Congress is working on their own version, and we need them to put back in the federal funds for libraries.  Here’s how you can help:

  1. Just 20 U.S. Senators have already signed on to letters of support for federal funding for libraries.  Please find out if your Senator has supported libraries by checking this sortable online tracker
  2. If they have signed on to both FY18 letters, send them a brief thanks.  If they have not, then please call, email, write, fax or Tweet the office of your U.S. Senators. Ready to use messages are here, but you will be asking them to:
    1. Sign on to the Dear Appropriator letter that Sens. Reed and Collins are circulating, which calls for $186.6 million in funding for the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA).
    2. Sign on to the Dear Appropriator letter that Sens. Reed, Grassley and Stabenow are circulating in support of $27 million for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).
  3. Check out these other ways you can take action to support libraries
  4. Encourage family, friends, patrons, contractors, vendors, coworkers, etc. to do the same!

Thank you,


P.S. if you call your Senator’s office and the line is busy, use Resistbot instead  It’s easy!

Beth Yoke, CAE

Executive Director

Young Adult Library Services Association

50 E. Huron St. Chicago, IL 60611

1.800.545.2433 x4391

fax: 312.280.5276



Take action to support funding for teens and libraries: http://bit.ly/2oaiVZD

Virtual National Library Legislative Day!

National Library Legislative Day informational graphic, May 2-3, 2016, Washington, DC - Register today!

National Library Legislative Day is a two-day advocacy event that brings hundreds of librarians, trustees, library supporters, and patrons to Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress to rally support for library issues and policies. Participants will receive advocacy tips and training, along with important issues briefings prior to their meetings.

*Please note that new advocate training will be held on May 1st during briefing day this year.

Due to increased interest in National Library Legislative Day 2017, we have reached capacity on registration. If you have any questions, please contact llindle@alawash.org or sign up to participate online.

Hotel Information

To make reservations at the Liaison Hotel:

  • Hotel registration closed on March 30, 2017
  • Click here to book online (Please select your arrival and departure) – the code for online registration is: ALA017
  • Call toll free 1-888-513-7445. Be sure to reference the American Library Association group when making reservations, or provide the Reservation ID: American Library Assn – National Library Legislative Day
  • Please Note: If you are planning on booking nights outside our room block (May 1-2), you must book the additional nights separately in order to take advantage of the discount.


Participating from home?


Another chance to go to DC!


CMLE members (and others!) – if you are working with teens, and would like to go to Washington DC for Library Legislative Day – YALSA wants to help you!

Check out this opportunity below:

Due to the fact that the White House’s budget proposes eliminating all federal funds for libraries, YALSA’s Board has re-opened the travel stipend application in order to send an additional member to Washington DC to advocate for teens and libraries. The stipend, funded by Friends of YALSA, will enable one qualified recipient to receive up to $1,000 to attend ALA’s 2017 National Library Legislative Day, which will be held in Washington, DC, May 1-2, 2017. Apply by April 10, 2017.  Applicants will be notified the week of April 17, 2017.  Here is the application:




P.S. For other ways to stand up for teens and libraries, read this YALSAblog post

Beth Yoke, CAE

Executive Director

Young Adult Library Services Association

50 E. Huron St. Chicago, IL 60611

1.800.545.2433 x4391

fax: 312.280.5276