Funding – A Never Ending Battle

26 Mar

With a fundraiser for our library happening on Saturday, finances, budgets and money has been on my mind, especially after receiving an email this morning inviting me to attend the National Library Legislative Day the weekend of May 3 – 5 in Washington DC to talk with representatives, senators and their staff about the importance of public libraries across the United States.  Why is this such an issue?  Because for the second year in a row the House of Representatives has proposed to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) budget.  This includes all grant money as well as LSTA money which many libraries across the country depend on to remain open.  The President released his budget earlier this year which included $237,427,957 for IMLS.  For more information, check out the IMLS press release.

Unfortunately, the House does not feel the same way stating,

“The Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent agency that makes grants to museums and libraries.  This is not a core Federal responsibility. This function can be funded at the State and local level and augmented significantly by charitable contributions from the private sector.” (Current Resolution of the Budget – Fiscal Year 2016, pg. 89)  Public libraries provide Americans with access to information, opportunities to learn, and prepare children for school, we are an important institution.

If you’re looking at ways to become a library advocate, check out the ALA Library Advocacy website!

 

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