CHICAGO, IL – February 13, 2018 – Today, President Trump unveiled his budget proposal to Congress, which moves to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and defund the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant program, terminating the only two sources of federal funding dedicated to supporting America’s libraries. As a signal of the President’s priorities, the budget is alarming in its widespread neglect to provision federal resources to institutions which are proven to drive economic growth and provide critical services to individuals and communities across the U.S.
“If the Institute of Museum and Library Services is closed as planned, state libraries around the country will lose critical funding for services supporting the blind and visually impaired, 24/7 homework help for students, and vital programs for veterans and their families,” says John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary. “Voting Americans need to respond with urgency in order to build Congressional support and protect these devastating cuts from moving forward.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services, via the Library and Technology Services Act (LSTA) and its Grants to States program, distributes a significant portion of its $231M budget to provide the foundational resources every state library in the U.S. uses to help meet the literacy, education, career and workforce development needs of their communities.
Innovative Approaches to Literacy is a grant program that benefits libraries in high-need schools. Approximately $15 million dollars in federal support is awarded to Title I school libraries by way of a competitive grant program, where libraries are rewarded for advancing achievement and driving better academic outcomes for students in at-risk districts across the U.S.
EveryLibrary is calling on people from all walks of life to get involved, whether they use the library themselves or simply understand that our nation is stronger, more secure, and more successful when people have access to the essential content, programs and services libraries provide. To enable Americans to quickly and easily contact Congress requesting support for these key initiatives, EveryLibrary has newly updated its action center at http://saveimls.org/, which provides additional information and tools for individuals looking to engage.
The board members of EveryLibrary are also available to provide expert insights to those looking to better understand the federal, state and local funding challenges facing libraries today, as well as build public awareness around the positive impact of libraries on their communities.
EveryLibrary is the first nationwide political action committee for libraries with a mission to build voter support for libraries. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided donor-supported pro-bono advising and consulting to 75 library campaigns, helping to win over $255 million in stable tax funding. EveryLibrary’s public facing-advocacy and activism page action.everylibrary.org allows people from across the country to sign-up and take action in support of library funding.