Utah Library Day on the Hill – Feb. 12, 2020

Our libraries receive funding from our local, state, and national representatives. Yet sometimes as a profession we struggle to do a great job building relationships with our representatives, lining up our priorities, asking for additional funding, and positioning ourselves as leaders on key issues like net neutrality. Utah Library Association is trying to build infrastructure to better meet this need. One of the efforts in this plan is active participation in the annual Library Day on the Hill alongside other partnering library organizations including the Utah State Library, the Utah Academic Library Consortium, and the Utah Educational Library Media Association. We will be hosting tables in the capitol rotunda and setting up meetings with state legislators for you, their constituents, to advocate for your library. We will be making a coordinated effort this year to ask specifically for $270,000 to be allocated to Utah Education Telehealth Network to help rural libraries and schools pay for reliable broadband Internet. This will make up the difference eRate discounts leave that those libraries and schools can’t pay.

This Library Day on the Hill will be:
February 12, 2020
7 AM – 10 AM
Utah State Capitol

Advocacy may sound like a political activity–but it’s fundamentally about making our passion for the work we do, and our transformational impact on the community, more visible. We invite ULA members to come be part of this unified effort on behalf of all our libraries! Please direct questions about Library Day on the Hill to rebekah.cummings@utah.edu

ULA writes letter of support for increased federal funding for LSTA “Grants to States” program

Last Friday, November 9, ULA President Rebekah Cummings wrote the following letter of support for increasing funding to $1 per capita for LSTA.

Dear Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA),

I write today on behalf of the Utah Library Association (ULA) in support of increasing funding to $1 per capita for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program. IMLS/LSTA programs have had a tremendous impact on Utah residents through funding programs that support early digital literacy (WeeLearn), expanded book delivery for at-risk children (Community Collections and Connections), and leadership and technology training for Utah librarians (ILEAD USA). LSTA funding strengthens Utah libraries and communities by providing critical services and resources. Therefore, the Utah Library Association supports the following resolution:

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT INCREASED FEDERAL FUNDING FOR LIBRARIES

WHEREAS, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) have started a “One Dollar Per Capita” campaign to increase funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States Program; and

WHEREAS, one dollar per capita represents a doubling of current funding for the Grants to States program. The current funding for Grants to States is $164 million. COSLA proposes to increase that funding level to $325 million. Funding for Grants to States has remained essentially flat for more than 20 years despite rising costs to state library agencies and local libraries; and

WHEREAS, Utah libraries have greatly benefited from LSTA funding and an increased federal investment in libraries would support lifelong learning, early literacy, economic growth and workforce development, services to veterans, community sustainability, and many other programs that grow communities and enrich the lives of persons of all ages here in Utah;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Utah Library Association supports COSLA’s “One Dollar Per Capita” campaign to increase funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States Program and will encourage Utah’s Congressional Delegation to support this investment in the state’s and nation’s libraries.

Sincerely,

Rebekah Cummings

Utah Library Association, President