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Friday, March 31, 2017

Help Save IMLS!

Greetings SWFLN Members and Friends!

At least $210 million in federal library funding is on the budget-cutter's chopping block. Our champions in Congress need your help to save it and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Everything you need is at ALA's Legislative Action Center now!  You can also visit the District Dispatch for more context.  Action is needed by April 3rd!

Access the below link to find who and where to send your communications:


Eliminating the IMLS, and the LSTA program, would have devastating impacts on statewide library services that are provided by the Florida Bureau of Division of Library Development and the Multitype Library Cooperatives such as SWFLN.


LSTA funding for FL has averaged $8 million per year over the past five years.
LSTA funds and mandated State matching funds support almost all of the statewide programs and services of the State Library entirely, or in part.  
Some 53 FTEs are supported with LSTA funds, more than half of the State Library staff. 
Put in context, the elimination of these federal funds would decimate the State Library;  LSTA funds helped, in part to sustain critical statewide library programs and services.
LSTA funds currently support:

·         Florida Electronic Library (FEL) (entirely LSTA)
·         Summer Reading at Florida Libraries (in large part)
·         Statewide Library Data Collection and Data Dissemination
·         Statewide Support for Training and Resource Sharing (e.g. Web Junction, Face-to-Face Workshops, Webinars, Multitype Library Cooperatives)
·         Statewide Services and Programs from the Division of Library Development such as staff support and technical assistance
·         State Library Websites and social media tools for use by the public and the library community
·         Research Library Services such as ILL, Digitization Initiatives, History and Genealogy Services, Public programs and exhibits

The elimination of the IMLS and LSTA funds would forever alter the face of library service in the State of Florida. Please speak up. ALA's Online Advocacy Center provides you with all the tools you need!
Their system will provide you with editable, pre-drafted messages that will be automatically delivered to your representatives.

Please act now, actions by April 3rd might make the difference!

As detailed in the ALA Washington Office blog, the President of the United States effectively proposed eliminating all federal library funding and closing IMLS – the small, respected agency that administers $183 million of those funds through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). He also asked Congress to wipe out $27 million for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), which school libraries use to buy books and other materials for the nation’s poorest children. But our library champions in Congress have mobilized to fight back and they need your help to succeed.
We know from many past funding fights that these Representatives’ requests of their colleagues simply will not be enough. Members of the House need to hear from their constituents before the April 3rd deadline.  Please e-mail or call your Representative and ask them to sign both the LSTA and the IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters our champions have circulated, otherwise the powerful Appropriations Committees will not make LSTA and IAL a priority, dramatically increasing the odds that they will be cut or eliminated next year.
ALA’s Legislative Action Center has everything you – and five of your friends, patrons, relatives, employees and patrons – need to identify your  Member of Congress and to tell him or her by email, tweet or phone to sign the LSTA and IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters to protect those critical programs in the FY 2018 federal budget.
We MUST save federal library funding and IMLS!  If not you and your fellow library lovers, who?  If not right now, when?
Take Action to #SaveIMLS Because #LibrariesAreEducation
The ALA's Online Advocacy Center provides you with all the tools you need!
Their system will provide you with editable, pre-drafted messages that will be automatically delivered to your representatives.

Send an eMail to Your Representatives in Washington
Make a Phone Call - the system provides a script and the number


In what is arguably the most important time in recent history, National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. is coming up May 1&2.  
The hotel room blocks at the Liaison is nearly sold out, you can make a reservation by clicking here. Make sure to book your room by March 31st to ensure they don’t miss out on the discounted rate.
Here is a link to hotels that are either in Washington DC or in nearby Virginia with ready access to the Metro which comes into Union Station, not far from The Liaison and the legislative office buildings
The Washington Office announced that the keynote speaker for the Briefing day will be Hina Shamsi, Director of the ACLU National Security Project.

If you are unable to join the delegation for NLLD you will be able to participate through Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD). If you would like to receive a link to the live webcast from NLLD and receive the talking points and reminders, they can register through this form for the VLLD.

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