This week, the House of Representatives will consider two amendments to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution that are critical to libraries: one that would eliminate all Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding--including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding--and another that would halt all funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens. While we are hopeful that individual privacy and personal reading records will be protected from inappropriate access by law enforcement, we are especially worried about the potential loss of future IMLS and LSTA funding.
IMLS and LSTA grant funds support many of the crucial programs and services we offer. Here just a few examples:
• Central Senior Services
• Computer trainers at many libraries throughout our system
• Electronic career databases and job-seeking materials
• Library materials translated into multiple languages, as well as "translation station" guides
• Continuing education and professional development for our hardworking library staff
Please visit the American Library Association's call-to-action website. They have a handy, pre-written letter that you can customize and send to your representative. Libraries are vital to the educational, economic, and cultural prosperity of their communites. Speak up on behalf of future federal library funding!