Legislative Alerts
January 27, 2021

ALA Advocacy Alert: Take Action: Urge your Senator to Support Library Infrastructure!

At the end of the last Congress, library champion Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the Build America's Libraries Act as both a standalone bill and part of the larger Economic Justice Act as a starting point for future action in the 117th Congress to address the dire need to modernize our nation's library infrastructure. The time for action is now, and we need your help to ensure key Senate Democratic leaders join as original co-sponsors for the re-introduction of the Build America's Libraries Act this week. 

The bill would begin to address decades of federal underinvestment by providing $5 billion to repair, modernize, and construct modern library facilities, with priority for libraries in underserved and marginalized communities and those with the greatest demonstrated need. 
 
While library construction funding was included in federal law in 1964, Congress removed the provision 30 years later in favor of spending on library services and technology. While those needs remain constant, many library facilities themselves desperately need support. The average library building is now more than 40 years old, and over the last decade (FY 09-19), library capital expenditures were $1.5 billion less than the decade before (FY 99-08), adjusted for inflation.
 

Senator Baldwin, who serves on the Senate HELP committee, previously sponsored the Economic Justice Act, which included the Build America's Libraries bill language. Thank them for their past support and ask that they now co-sponsor the Build America's Libraries Act with Senator Reed. The deadline for co-sponsorship is 10 a.m. ET Thursday, January 28. Feel free to use the quick ALA link here to email Senator Baldwin!

In addition, take this time to remind them that libraries are an essential lifeline in our communities, and support for libraries should be included in any COVID-19 economic relief or recovery legislation.
 
December 16, 2020

ALA Advocacy Alert: Tell Congress to pass emergency relief funding for libraries today!

A bicameral group of legislators introduced the Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020, and the bill includes $200 million in direct library broadband funding. Your swift advocacy has brought libraries one step closer to providing broadband access for millions of Americans.
We urge you to continue taking action to ensure this relief bill is passed, and the $200 million in emergency funding for library broadband is secured.
If lawmakers fail to pass the bill before the end of the year, this proposed funding will be lost.

Tell your legislators to pass the Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020 to secure emergency broadband relief funding for libraries and library workers. Please use this ALA link: Take Action Now or post a message to your elected leaders (such as the sample tweet below) on social media: [[email protected]/Rep] Please pass the Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020 to help libraries close the #ConnectivityGap. #LibrariesStrong

 
 
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