Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Little Good News for a Very Stressful Week

Good work, everybody! Because of ALA’s unprecedented grassroots efforts this week on amendment #35 to H.R. 1 (the Continuing Resolution to the FY2011 budget) was defeated! This victory for libraries is undoubtedly due to the strong grassroots efforts of librarians and library supporters all across the country.

As you recall, late Monday evening U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ-5) introduced an amendment that would eliminate all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) including funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the primary source of federal dollars to libraries.

Today, as the U.S. House of Representatives wraps up floor debate on HR 1, Rep. Garrett has made it clear to us that he is no longer “pushing” for a vote on his amendment. Once the House passes H.R. 1, - likely today or tomorrow - the budget will be sent over to the Senate where they will have the opportunity to make amendments and vote on this year’s budget bill.

Even though we overcame this amendment, our work is not done. H.R. 1 still has to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President. Please tell your friends, library users and advocates that their voices will be needed on library issues in the weeks and months to come.

Also, libraries face cuts in President Obama’s FY2012 budget request sent to Congress on February 14. In his request, President Obama cuts funding to LSTA by $20 million as well as consolidates Improving Literacy Through School Libraries with other literacy programs in the Department of Education. ALA needs you to continue your calls to Congress in our fight to protect library funding in FY’12.

This is only the beginning; libraries will continue to be threatened in the next Congress. Now, more than ever, we need your participation on May 9-10, 2011 at ALA’s National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. where you will have the opportunity to meet with your members of Congress and explain to them why cutting library funding would be short-sighted. To register for NLLD, please go to
Kristin Murphy
Government Relations Specialist
American Library Association - Washington Office
1615 New Hampshire Ave. NW, First Floor
Washington, D.C., 20009-2520
Phone Number: 202.628.8410
Take action for libraries! Visit our Legislative Action Center at

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