Information from ALA Washington office on town hall meetings in Kansas. If you are able to participate, please do so. Thanks.
Rob Banks, Kansas Chapter Councilor
Subject: Upcoming Town Hall Meetings in Your State
Your senator is holding town hall meetings in your state this month. Sen. Jerry Moran is holding town hall meetings in the following places:
- Aug. 15, 11:30 AM, CornerBank, Arkansas City
- Aug. 15, 1:45 PM, Chautauqua County Farm Bureau, Sedan
- Aug. 15, 4:00 PM, Coffeyvile Community College Technical Campus, Coffeyville
- Aug. 18, 7:30 PM, St. Francis Community High School, St. Francis
With the debt ceiling deal reached, Congress will be looking to make deep cuts in the national budget. It is important as ever for library supporters to show up and tell their member why funding for libraries is not the place to cut. For example, you could tell a story about how your library helps to provide valuable resources to job seekers free of charge.
Because Sen. Moran serves on the Appropriations Committee, you can ask that he increase funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). You can use the following talking points:
- LSTA is the primary source of federal funding for libraries.
- LSTA was funded in FY 2011 at $189 million.
- In FY 2011 LSTA received an 11.47 per cent (or $24.5 million) cut from the previous fiscal year.
- For FY 2012 ALA is asking congress to appropriate $232 million for LSTA which was the level it was authorized at in December 2010.
- Please share with your elected official the important work your library does in your community and how cutting funds for libraries is unacceptable during a slumping economy.
You can also ask your member to restore funding for school libraries by supporting the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program. Please use the following talking points:
- Improving Literacy Through School Libraries is the primary source of federal funding for school libraries and works to update school libraries in disadvantaged school districts.
- Improving Literacy Through School Libraries was zeroed out in FY 2011.
- Improving Literacy Through School Libraries was last funded in FY 2010 at $19.1 million.
- Improving Literacy Through School Libraries was authorized in 2002 at $250 million but has never been appropriated over $20 million.
- ALA is requesting Congress fund Improving Literacy Through School Libraries at the FY 2010 level of $19.1 million.
- Please share with your elected official how students receive a more complete education with an up-to-date school library staffed by a full time state-certified school librarian.
- Please also share with your elected official what important work your school library does in your school and community.
If you need additional information, please contact Ted Wegner in the ALA Washington Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking With Media
Town hall meetings are also a great opportunity to begin building relationships with local reporters, since media often attend these meetings. Be sure to introduce yourself to reporters in attendance. Give them your contact information and invite them to your library, suggesting they write a story about any issues or concerns your library faces as well as any exciting new initiatives taking place.
After attending the town hall, we encourage you to post a comment on your member’s Facebook and/or Twitter pages (if they have them) as well as write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the experience. Be sure to mention your member of Congress’ name in the letter, as staff monitors all press mentions of the member.
Should you need help or care to discuss any of these suggestions, please contact Jenni Terry, press officer for the ALA Washington Office, at 1-800-941-8478 or email@example.com.