[Libs-Or] Call to Action: Build America’s Libraries Act

OLA President olapresident at olaweb.org
Wed May 5 16:31:48 PDT 2021

In the next few weeks Congress is going to make key decisions about the
scope of an infrastructure package, including whether libraries will be in
it or left out. ALA is organizing efforts to build support for the Build
America’s Libraries Act <http://www.ala.org/advocacy/buildlibraries> (H.R.
1581 <https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1581?r=21&s=2>/
which would fund upgrades to the nation's library infrastructure to address
challenges such as natural disasters, COVID-19, broadband capacity,
environmental hazards, and accessibility barriers.

Oregon is fortunate to have a lead sponsor (Wyden) and co-sponsors
(Bonamici, Blumenauer, DeFazio) already supporting the bills. It would be
great to have the full Oregon Congressional delegation express their
support for libraries by cosponsoring the bills.

OLA has sent letters to Senator Merkley
Representative Bentz
(2nd District), and Representative Schrader
(5th District) urging them to join their colleagues and cosponsor these
bills. OLA President Kate Lasky and Springfield Public Library and Museum
director Emily David also published an opinion piece in the Eugene Register
urging support.

What can really make a difference is having the local voices of library
staff and stakeholders explain in more detail the infrastructure needs of
libraries in the districts these members represent.

We are asking that OLA members, and *particularly those in the 2nd and 5th
Congressional Districts*, use the letters referenced above as a template
for creating personal messages that tell the story of library
infrastructure needs from the local perspective.

You can use ALA’s Action Alert
<https://cqrcengage.com/ala/app/write-a-letter?4&engagementId=511327> tool
to look up your district and send direct messages to your representative.
The tool will even send thank you messages to Senator Wyden and the other
Representatives that are already sponsoring the bills. Just a couple of
messages from each district may be all that is needed for Oregon’s
remaining representatives to take action on this important library

More details about this bill can be found on the ALA website
<http://www.ala.org/advocacy/buildlibraries>. Thank you for your efforts to
support Oregon libraries!

Kate Lasky, OLA President

Arlene Weible, OLA Vice-President

Oregon Library Association President, 2020-2021
olapresident at olaweb.org
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