Find Your Legislator  Advocacy Resources  |  Important Dates  |  Library Day  |  Funding 2022  |  Legislation/Bills 

On October 21, 2022, FLA Board Members formally approved the Legislative Platform 2023.

Legislative Platform 2023: Strong Libraries. Strong Communities.

Funding Initiatives

State Aid to Public Libraries Grant Program
Sustain $17,500,000 in recurring funds, in conjunction with $6,000,000 in non-recurring funding (F.S. 257.17)

Public Library Construction Grants
Appropriate funding of $9,000,000 to support nineteen ranked, eligible applications (F.S. 257.191)

Library Cooperative Grant
Support recurring funding of $2,000,000 (F.S. 257.40-42)

Career Online High School
Appropriate $750,000.

Colleges’ and Universities’ Essential Library and Distance Learning Services
Support recurring $22,583,517 for library, distance learning and student services. Appropriate $1,500,000 in non-recurring funding for library electronic resources. (Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network, F.S. 1006.73)

 

Economic Development

Job seekers getting the help they need.  Librarians teach classes and provide one-on-one training for resumes, job searching and job applications.

Small Business Owners utilizing valuable space and support.  Libraries provide space for business owners to meet, utilize fast internet and take advantage of industry standard financial and business research tools and databases.

College Students succeeding.  The Florida Virtual Campus is essential to the success of students, faculty, and researchers across the Florida College System and State University System.  Florida’s State Colleges and Universities have contributed tens of billions of dollars to state economic growth through student success and funded research. 

 

Literacy

Children learning to read earlier.  Library storytimes teach important pre-literacy skills like improved vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure. Storytime movement activities promote vital cross-brain communication that is invaluable to the development of learning to read. 

Adults learning to read for the first time.  Libraries provide Adult Literacy coaching, classes and resources to assist the approximately 22% of adult Floridians who lack basic reading and writing skills.

Inspiring and nurturing the love of reading for all agesRobust collections, summer reading programs, year round book discussions and events coupled with trained Librarian expertise.

 

Community Hub

Meeting place.  Study groups, parents groups, civic organizations, political parties, homeowners associations, and religious groups all regularly meet at the library.

Cultural programs and enrichment activities.  Important cultural and historical events are held throughout the year across all Florida Libraries. 

Voting and Elections.  Libraries serve as polling locations for early and Election Day voting, providing physical space and support.  Libraries also serve as voter registration locations and provide spaces for political and community forums. 

Important Dates

2023 Florida Legislative Session

March 7 | Regular Session convenes (Article III, section 3(b), State Constitution)
March 21 | FLA Reception prior to Library Day
March 22 | FLA Library Day!
April 22 | Motion to reconsider made and considered the same day (Senate Rule 6.4(4)) All bills are immediately certified (Senate Rule 6.8)
April 25 | 50th day – last day for regularly scheduled committee meetings (Senate Rule 2.9(2))
May 5 | 60th day – last day of Regular Session (Article III, section 3(d), State Constitution)

Library Day 2023

Join us in Tallahassee for Library Day! Save the date for an evening reception on March 21st followed by a packed day of advocating for libraries with state legislators on March 22nd, 2023.  

More information coming soon! 


2023 Legislation & Bills to Watch

Coming soon!

 

2021-2022 Funding Summary

Congratulations on a successful Advocacy Campaign for 2021-2022!  Florida lawmakers approved a $112 billion dollar budget that includes increases for library funding. The results of the 2022 FLA platform’s requests were as follows:

Request Result
State Aid to Public Libraries Grant Program: Restore funding to $23,000,000. Legislative budget request by Department of State: $17,304,072 + State Aid to Public Libraries Grant Program: Received a $2 million dollar increase in non-recurring funds for a total of $19,304,072
Career Online High SchoolAppropriate to $750,000 x Career Online High School: No (zero) funds in 2022.  Increase of $2 million was vetoed.  
Library Cooperative Grant Program: Support recurring $2 million + Library Cooperative Grant Program: Received $2 million in 2022 budget 
Colleges’ and Universities’ Essential Library and Distance Learning Services: Support recurring $20,900,000 to FLVC/FPALN for State University and College Libraries, Distance Learning, and Student Services + Colleges’ and Universities’ Essential Library and Distance Learning Services: Funds continue at $20,912,822 with a piece of new funding for the Student Open Access Resources initiative, which has a proposed budget of $10,800,000.
Public Library Construction Grants: Appropriate funding of $14,600,000 to support all eligible applications Public Library Construction Grants:  No (zero) funds in 2022 budget 

  

Advocacy Resources

The Value of Public Libraries

Florida Library Facts

Floridians love their libraries. Over 57 percent of Floridians have library cards. That’s more than 12.3 million people.  2018-19 - Florida Department of State.

Floridians really enjoy reading. Florida libraries circulated over 99 million items – books, cds, dvds, etc., in 2018-19.

Books, music and movies. There are over 41 million items in Florida public libraries.  Of these, over 10.4 million are e-books, 1.6 million are audio and 3.4 million are video.

Floridians vote for libraries with their feet. Florida residents visited public libraries about 62.6 million times in 2018-19 for an average of over 2.9 visits per person.

Libraries help children learn and prepare them for school. Libraries help young children learn to read and help parents and caregivers learn to support that learning.  Florida libraries conducted over 116,240 programs for children in 2018-19 with over 3.3 million children attending – and children checked out over 31 million items!

Floridians come to libraries for technology and job search. There are over 17,290 public access computers available in Florida libraries. Floridians used these computers 13.2 million times in 2018-19 and over 2.9 million Floridians received technology instruction in libraries. Frequently use is for job seeking!  Many libraries offer free wireless access. 

Many Floridians use libraries from their home, school or office. Floridians visited library websites over 74.8 million times in 2018-19, using services like the Florida Electronic Library that offer electronic information and online help.

Librarians help you find what you’re looking for. Library staff answered over 18.4 million reference questions in 2018-19 and 427,000 of those questions were answered using online reference services.

For many, the library is their lifeline to essential government services. Library staff help the public transact their E-Government business using library computers for services including Unemployment Compensation, Medicare, Fla. Dept. of Children and Families, immigration, and the IRS.  Library staff are important members of disaster management teams and following disasters, library computers help survivors locate family members and apply for insurance and assistance.

91% of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities. “Library Services in the Digital Age,” Pew Internet &American Life Project, January 2013.

Florida libraries are efficient. Florida libraries served the public at an average cost of $28.89 per person in 2018-19 compared with a national average of $44.89 2019. IMLS.

Good return on investment. Florida’s public libraries return at least $10.18 for every $1 invested. 2013 - Florida Department of State.

Webinars

2019 FLA Pre-Library Day Webinar (recorded 1/29/19)
   - Power Point Presentation

FLA Confidentiality Webinar (recorded 6/17/16)
  - Power Point Presentation  

 

2023 Love Your Library Campaign 

2023 Campaign information coming soon!

 

2022 Love Your Library Campaign 

Love Your Library? Tell Your Legislators Why!

This is your chance to reach out to your Florida House and Senate members and remind them to "Love Your Library!" PLEASE take time to contact their offices and let them know how critical this funding is to all the libraries in Florida (and in their districts too!).We need your help to spread the word and to garner people of action to reach out to their legislators February 14-16, 2022.


✔ 5 Minutes

Share our "Libraries are Critical to Florida" Advocacy video with your Florida House and Senate members.

✔ 10-15 Minutes 

Use FLA's Engage site to make it a quick and painless way to email your representatives on February 15th.

  1. Refresh yourself with the 2022 FLA Platform 
  2. Click on the link to FLA's Engage site FLA Engage 
  3. Scroll down and click on the Take Action button
  4. Fill out the form with your name and address and click submit
  5. Compose your message or use the one that is provided for you.
  6. Check the recipients
  7. Click submit
  8. Check this off your list of things to do today

✔ 15 Minutes

Light up the Lines: We are encouraging AS MANY ADVOCATES AS POSSIBLE to CALL your Legislators' offices and remind them to support all funding amounts listed in the FLA Legislative Platform! Find the phone number for your Legislators HERE or using the Map below.

Your personal stories are the most impactful.

Here are examples you can use to craft your own story to share your library's success: 

  • Online resources like eBooks, audiobooks, digital magazines and educational databases can be accessed anywhere with a library card. Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative customers collectively borrowed over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in 2021.
  • Libraries find ways to connect with their communities and bridge the digital divide. For example, Alachua County library system has over 200 Wi-Fi hot spots available for patrons to check out. Lake Park Library and Boynton Beach in Palm Beach County have self-serve laptop checkout kiosks for their patrons that can be used in the libraries. And many libraries across the state have free Wi-Fi access inside and outside their buildings along with public internet stations inside. State Library recent data reports that more than 1.5 million users received technology instruction from a Florida public library. All these resources help students, families, job seekers and small businesses.
  • In response to the growing demand for COVID-19 testing, Miami-Dade Public Library System distributed 152,000 take home rapid test kits in 2 days to help their residents stay safe.
  • U.S. Department of State Passport services have been available at Flagler County Public Libraries since 2008. In fact, libraries across the state of Florida offer this service for citizens along with notary services, adult literacy, job skills, Career Online High School and voter registration.
  • A core service of libraries has always been youth literacy. Libraries came up with creative and inspiring ways to continue to reach youth in spite of social distancing constraints. Virtual story times, story times in the park, grab and go literacy bags, free online access to literacy programs, summer break time meals, snack bags to go and online programming for kids and teens. Most recent yearly reports to the State Library show that the total check out of youth materials in the state of Florida was 22 million items.