PRESS RELEASE: EveryLibrary Statement on Proposed Cuts to IMLS.
EveryLibrary Encourages Voters to Rally Against Deep Federal Budget Cuts Impacting Local Libraries
President Trump's budget proposals could shut down the Institute of Museum and Library Services, but EveryLibrary is committed to helping libraries and museums thrive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2020
President Trump has released a budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 with cuts to eliminate federal library programs and defund the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In response, EveryLibrary, a 501c4 organization that builds voter support and advocates for public funding for libraries, is calling for Americans to show support for their libraries and museums by rallying against proposed cuts.
The IMLS is the primary source of federal funding for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS provides grants to libraries in need to replace technology and infrastructure. Many rural and urban communities depend on these grants to continue operations and provide essential community services. In small towns and big cities, museums are vital to sharing the arts, extending our cultural memory, and connecting us with people we’d never otherwise have met. IMLS is a primary source of federal grant funding to extend state and local resources in order to educate students, preserve and digitize collections, and connect families with their communities.
Sign the petition to send an email to congress to ask them to reverse these proposed cuts.
Every state library puts IMLS funding to work in critically important ways that are high-impact for their states. Public libraries often provide the only broadband access to rural communities and many Americans in all areas often rely on this access to apply to jobs, access training, and to learn new skills. Many entrepreneurs use the resources found in the library to get a competitive edge in an increasingly global marketplace. IMLS funding supports school readiness programs, provides resources and materials to educators, helps libraries develop resources for underserved and at-risk populations and funds pilot projects that enable libraries to address the needs of their communities in creative ways.
Libraries help grow the American economy, stabilize and strengthen communities, and ensure that every child can succeed in life, yet public libraries in every town, city, and county would be hit by the FY 2021 budget proposal. Libraries in all 50 states would be harmed. Fewer than half of all museums are free at all times. Through IMLS’ Museums for All initiative, many museums can offer free or greatly reduced admission to anyone with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, ensuring anyone, regardless of means, can access our shared history and culture.
This is the fourth time the president's budget has proposed cuts to the IMLS. In 2019, Americans from all political spectrums rallied against the proposed cuts. Over the last three years, EveryLibrary's SaveIMLS.org campaign has helped empower over 20,000 Americans to send a message to Congress to reverse those cuts and expand support for the IMLS. This national voter engagement campaign has educated Americans about the role and impact of libraries and librarians, to secure better funding for school and public libraries from all levels of government.
Over 99% of public libraries offer free access to the Internet, and more people visit their library every year than attend the NFL, NHL, NBA, NASCAR, or the movie theater combined, yet these powerful national assets could be dramatically impacted by the proposed budget. IMLS is our federal support system for the cultural, educational, historical, and community development mission that libraries and museums provide. EveryLibrary supports the $1 per Capita request for LSTA funding from our state librarians in COSLA, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and the request for proper funding of the Office of Museums from our colleagues at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Over the last 7 years, EveryLibrary has offered consulting services, training and support to libraries threatened by ballot measures proposing budget cuts. Through these pro bono efforts, EveryLibrary has returned over $330 million dollars annually in stable tax money to libraries, and has helped secure over $1.8 billion in stable revenue for public libraries.
"From storytime to homework help and summer reading to teaching jobs skills and supporting entrepreneurship, to programs that connect people to cultures, ideas, and enjoyment, libraries put a small amount of federal support to work in critical ways.” said John Chrastka, EveryLibrary Executive Director.
EveryLibrary is a 501c4 political action committee dedicated to building voter support for libraries. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided donor-supported pro-bono advising and consulting to 110 library campaigns helping to win over $330 million annually in stable tax funding. Since 2016, EveryLibrary has provided strategic and tactical support to school library communities on education and tax policy, and has supported dozens of challenges to school library budgets and school librarian positions in schools and districts across the country.
John Chrastka, Executive Director: [email protected]
Kosi Harris, Publicist: [email protected]