John W. Berry, President, The American Library Association
[2001-02, writes: \"The Library Services and Technology Act, LSTA, the only federal legislation that funds libraries exclusively, needs to be reauthorized by Congress before September 30, 2002. The American Library Association (ALA) is working with many other library groups to assure that LSTA continues to provide federal dollars to serve as a catalyst for change in libraries nationwide.
The coalition is proposing minor changes that will improve library services while creating a sound and effective legislative strategy to encourage Congress to approve reauthorization as quickly as possible. Your assistance in helping us achieve these goals is both critical and greatly appreciated.\"
\"A reauthorized LSTA will remain flexible, and each community will decide how to best use the money to leverage state and local funds. The proposed bill encourages all types of libraries to make use of this funding, but raises the authorization to $500 million. This means that more funds will be available for state-based grants and local programs, National Leadership Grants, and grants to Native American libraries. I think we all agree that this increased funding is essential to enable libraries to provide a range of new services to our user communities.
I encourage each of you to reach out to at least two library users in your community and ask them to contact your Member of Congress and both Senators. We really need library patrons to educate Congress on how important a reauthorized Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is to their local communities.
For further information and help getting started, visit the new LSTA web site at: ala.org/washoff/lsta.html
Thank you in advance for your time and assistance on this very important federal library funding initiative.
John W. Berry
The American Library Association