Great news was delivered on 7/20/2017! The House Appropriations Committee restored direct library funding language to its funding bill that provides flat (no increase/decrease) funding to libraries through their proposed budget. For those unaware, President Trump had removed ALL federal funding for libraries from his proposed budget and library supporters across the country have been fighting to have it restored in the House’s and Senate’s bills. We got the attention we needed in the House. This is a major hurdle we have passed. We still wait with bated breath for the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Committee to release its version of the proposed budget.
Tutor.com has taken an active role in the fight for libraries and will continue to do so moving forward. We do this for both business interests and personal ones. Knowing to whom we are speaking helps us determine which message to share. Back in February, Tutor.com hosted a webinar presented by John Chrastka of EveryLibrary to help librarians understand how to make a new funding ask. Mr. Chrastka spoke of focusing your message on the interests of your audience and we fully agree.
- Tutor.com continues to work with and support EveryLibrary in its efforts to fight for library funding across the country. We are not only a corporate donor, but we also continue to host webinars that help educate librarians about how to ask for funding, how to gain political support for libraries and how to win at the ballot box. These webinars serve the dual purpose of building awareness of EveryLibrary while providing important messaging for our library partners.
- com retains a government relations specialist to help advocate for library funding at the State government levels. Our message to state governors and legislators always centers around the specific education initiatives in that state by that administration, for example, highlighting how libraries help improve school performance and college/career readiness.
- Personal requests for support are made by both our full-time employees and our tutors. We provided our 3,000+ tutors with information and guidance on how to call or contact their Congressmen to share the message that libraries are important to both education and the economy (in terms of their jobs).
- At National Library Legislative Day, I attend as a parent, a library supporter and most of all, a constituent. As part of the Georgia delegation, I visit with Senators and Representatives from GA districts to tell them that as a voter, I look for candidates that support libraries because as a parent, I see the real benefits my children get from the local library. Next year, I plan to take even more of the library team to NLLD to represent their states and share their stories, too.
- Out of the current political climate and near-miss attempts to cut federal library funding came the need for a different message. In May, Tutor.com joined the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI). CCLI is made up of over 100 corporations that sell their products and services to libraries, thus depending on the existence and healthy funding of libraries to continue their businesses. The message to the Republican Congress was simple: cut library funding and you are hurting our businesses and putting thousands of jobs and tax dollars at risk. I am proud to sit on the steering committee for CCLI and look forward to playing an even more active role in helping to shape its future direction.
Tutor.com will continue to fight for libraries because we believe in libraries. We believe in equal access to resources and information. We believe in education and community. Please consider helping in the fight for libraries by staying informed and getting involved.
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