The Dear Appropriator letters campaign for fiscal year 2020 ended April 11 on a positive note for library funding, thanks to the thousands of calls, emails, and visits made by ALA advocates across the country.

With federal library funding sources under threat of elimination from the White House for the third straight year, library advocates responded forcefully.

Advocates reached out to more than 100 new members of Congress, many of whom were unfamiliar with the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs. In the House, 37 freshmen representatives signed the LSTA letter and 25 signed the IAL letter.

House support for both letters increased: LSTA signatures increased from 136 last year to 150, and IAL support grew from 98 to 128 signatures. Bipartisan leadership on the FY2020 LSTA letter helped secure several additional Republicans. As a result, seven House Republicans signed LSTA and five signed IAL, while only four had supported each last year.

Support for LSTA and IAL remained steady in the Senate. The FY2020 IAL letter retained a level 36 signatures. The LSTA letter dropped from 46 to 45.

ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office continues to provide resources for ALA members to cultivate relationships with their members of Congress and congressional staff at home in their districts. These resources include details for inviting a member of Congress to tour your library; tips on telling your library’s story to local media; tools for advocating on social media platforms, including steps for livestreaming events; one-page fact sheets for sharing IMLS funding information from your state; and worksheets to prepare for reaching out to your member of Congress. •