Calculate the Value of Your Library (from the ALA "I Love Libraries Initiative)

"Libraries change lives and are essential to a democratic society." 
ALA Declaration for the Right to Libraries  PDF Document and PDF Poster 

NH Supreme Court decision re: librarian is employee of Library, not the Town 
Littleton vs Taylor

The Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library
NHLTA Legislative Advocacy Guide: a handbook of information and tips on the process of establishing advocacy positions.
NHLTA Legislative Advocacy Guide
How a Bill Becomes a Law Information: How a Bill Becomes a Law.
NH State Government Website:
How to Find Your Legislator:
American Library Association's Advocacy (ALA) section:


Federal Funding for Libraries UPDATE from Jim Neal, President, (ALA) American Library Association
Message from NHLTA on Library Funding in the Federal Budget
New Hampshire Libraries will be hurt if federal funding for libraries is eliminated. Your support can help protect library services in New Hampshire.
On March 16th, President Trump submitted his budget outline to Congress, which proposes wholesale changes to federal funding priorities, including deep cuts to many programs. Alarmingly to librarians across the nation, those proposals include eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s libraries and museums. It proposed more than $186 million in funding cuts for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program.
At Risk in New Hampshire
The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program provides critical funding to each state’s library organization, which then determines the best use in its state for these funds. (The NH State Library plays that role in our state.) Elimination of this funding in New Hampshire puts key services and programs on the chopping block. In 2016, NH received $1,777,545 in LSTA funds which it uses to provide van delivery and the NHU-PAC union catalog for the statewide inter library lending program (ILL). Interlibrary lending allows our libraries to offer a level of service that would otherwise be impossible, creates efficiencies and saves money for local libraries, and in turn, for taxpayers.

NH uses LSTA funds to promote new technology to help public libraries meet and anticipate NH residents’ needs for innovation, life-long learning and cultural and civic engagement. It increases equity of information access and library resources by providing a statewide information delivery service, a statewide union catalog, and statewide database licensing.
NH also uses the funds to assist libraries to provide services and outreach to their constituents, especially to children, by supporting summer reading programs. In addition, funding supports the Talking Books program, for people with vision impairments and physical disabilities.

LSTA funds have also been important in helping the New Hampshire State Library ensure permanent access to historic New Hampshire materials and in capturing and providing access to “born digital” State of New Hampshire content, meeting archival responsibilities.
What is Being Done?
The NHLTA is collaborating with the NH Library Association (NHLA) in responding.

The President’s budget proposal is far from being law. Congress has the final say and typically makes changes to the president’s budget proposal. It is important to remember that the President’s budget is just the beginning of the budget process. Over the course of several months, Congress will work on the budget and then it will go back to the Office of the President. However, LSTA funds are presently endangered and advocacy efforts throughout the budget process are essential to restore funding for libraries.
The American Library Association (ALA) and local state chapters have asked Congressional House members to sign the FY18 appropriation letters requesting the preservation of these critical funds. Senators will be asked later. Importantly, New Hampshire’s Congressmen Reps. Kuster and Shea-Porter have signed and submitted these letters to the appropriations committee. 
What can you do?
1. Become and stay informed!
When the opportunity to speak to friends, family, neighbors and other local stakeholder arrives, know what you need to about IMLS and its work with libraries, here in NH and across the nation. For more information visit to learn about the money sent to each state.
2. Gather stories of how your library has changed lives. Consider our audience: how has your library changed lives? In addition to numbers, gather and share stories about job hunters, “new Americans,” entrepreneurs, career changers, career explorers and others. Topics that resonate with elected officials include things that save money or make solid investments in education and jobs. Youth literacy is another talking point and anything helping to keep young people in school, through high school and beyond. Please ask permission to use a name and town to personalize where possible.
3. Now that you are informed, you are ready to contact your Representatives (and later your Senators as the occasion appears). Thank your Representative for their support on the “Dear Appropriator” letter and ask them to continue fighting for federal library funding. Tell them how important libraries are to our NH residents. More information on the ALA website.
You can contact representatives by email, fax, phone or letter at the contacts below. A handwritten letter or phone call can have twice the impact of an email. Letting your representative know you appreciate their support lets them know you are aware of the issue and encourages their ongoing support on this critical issue. The volume of communications received indicates the level of importance of the issue to the New Hampshire community, and makes a difference, especially when more budget cuts are on the table.
Put your representatives in your saved Contacts. Do you know how to reach your Representative and our Senators?  
4.  Keep up to date on the federal budget process and the status of library funding in the budget. NHLA and NHLTA will be sending communications to their members on an ongoing basis, advising how library supporters can weigh in on this issue. 


Grass Roots Advocacy in Action! 

Peterborough Library at the Polls
The Peterborough Town Library set up informational tables at the polls. The goal of the project was to increase visibility of library programs and services, as well as sign up residents for library cards. Director Corinne Chronopoulos said "We signed up 23 residents for library cards and had plenty of conversations about services and programs."
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Howe Library, Hanover, celebrates the year in a letter to the editor. Reach out to your community using this easy effective method and advocate for YOUR library. Our thanks to Library Director Mary White for sharing her suggestions and letter.

Speak Up! Speak Out! Speak For Libraries!