EveryLibrary and Mississippi Library Association Launch #saveMSimls
PROPOSED FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS THREATEN MISSISSIPPI LIBRARIES
Institute for Museum and Library Services poised to be defunded; state libraries could lose nearly $2 million in library funding
Take action now at saveMSimls.org
Jackson, Miss. - Cuts proposed in President Trump’s FY18 budget would have devastating effects on libraries in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Library Commission officials and analysts. The proposed budget, unveiled by the Trump administration in March, would eliminate funding for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides funding to state libraries. Mississippi currently receives $1.8 million in funding per year from IMLS, which is used to support:
- Audiobooks for the blind and visually impaired (Mississippi Talking Book Services)
- Efficient resource sharing for libraries that includes interlibrary book loans and cataloging software
- Intensive training for the next generation of library professionals and paraprofessionals through a variety of workshops and an in-residence training
Global access for residents of Mississippi communities through technological assistance including network and internet access
"Public libraries in Mississippi have recently been faced with a devastating decrease in state funding,” stated Susan Cassagne, Executive Director of the Mississippi Library Commission. “The loss of federal funds will be catastrophic for the future of Mississippi’s public libraries. Library patrons will experience severe cutbacks in services,” said Cassagne. “Programs that are critical to the mostly rural residents of our state will have to be evaluated and some hard choices will have to be made." Under the proposed federal budget cuts, Mississippi, along with other states, would lose funding that is used for foundational library services.
Examples of programs supported by IMLS funding in Mississippi include:
- Autism Resource Center that offer resources and assistance to children with autism and their parents, including therapy tools that can be taken home or used in the library
- Excel By 5 program, a community-based certification program designed to improve a child's overall well-being by age five, provides children with the tools they need to prepare for kindergarten
- Increased summer reading programs in rural areas by offering off-site locations providing programs, activities and books to participants
- Creating a Teen Technology Center to provide an inviting, safe place for teens to gather and study after school featuring new laptop computers in a teen-friend environment
- Offering a senior-adult basic computer skills class to include basic word processing, internet searching and computer maintenance
“Without IMLS and funding through LSTA, Mississippi’s libraries would not be able to provide the needed level of library and information services that our citizens and communities have come to expect and appreciate,” stated Jenniffer Stephenson, Mississippi Library Association President. “LSTA funds help bridge the digital divide for so many library patrons, provide critical training and continuing education opportunities for library staff, and encourage life-long learning for all age groups. Our libraries and our communities depend on continued support and funding from IMLS.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), established in 1996, is the only federal agency that funds libraries nationwide. The agency’s work benefits libraries of all types: public, research, academic and tribal; and museums of all disciplines: art, history, botanic gardens, aquariums, science and technology centers, children’s museums and zoos. The IMLS is the main federal source for innovative library programs that support early literacy, people trying to find work, and better community outcomes through libraries.
Take action now at saveMSimls.org
About the Mississippi Library Association
The mission of the Mississippi Library Association is to provide professional leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
EveryLibrary, registered in Illinois, is the first and only national organization dedicated exclusively to promoting political action at a local level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. This non-partisan, pro-library organization promotes sustaining libraries as they evolve and grow in the 21st century. EveryLibrary is a coalition partner with other organizations, associations, and non-profits that seek to support libraries through public awareness and advocacy.