At CMLE we are all about advocacy of all types for libraries!! Keep talking to people about the work you do, and the value you bring to your community! People will be pleased and impressed by it all. Check out our advocacy resources, and you can always check in with us to talk about advocacy ideas!
(From Publisher’s Weekly, by Shannon Maughan)
A look at some ongoing federal, state, and local campaigns
The past decade has seen a distinct expansion of library advocacy across the country, largely in response to budget cuts. As a result, librarians at all levels have been organizing and raising their voices to demonstrate the value of their positions and their libraries in the community. In light of continued tightening of funding, including steep cuts proposed by a new president, the battle cry of librarians has become even louder. We checked in on a few of the most recent efforts.
May was a particularly busy month on the library advocacy front. To kick things off, on May 1–2 a record number of librarians—more than 500—took part in the American Library Association’s National Library Legislative Day (and double that number participated online). During their time in D.C., librarians discussed issues and legislation affecting them with ALA’s Washington Office and met with representatives on Capitol Hill. Copyright, net neutrality, and privacy were among other topics on the table. An early bright spot of the event was the May 1 announcement of the federal budget for fiscal year 2017 (ending September 30), which increased federal library funding by $1 million.
But the bigger budget debate at the event was President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget, announced March 16, in which he called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the grant-making agency that serves as the primary source for federal funding to libraries. Ahead of the 2018 budget, the ALA had already drafted its annual “Dear Appropriator” letters urging Congress for full funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $186.6 million and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) at $27 million. In light of the newly proposed threat to funding, advocacy efforts shifted into a higher gear. Continue reading Library Advocacy Efforts Gain Steam