Tag Archives: IMLS

Senators introduce bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act of 2017

Seal of the United States SenateTake a moment to contact your Senator and remind her how important libraries are!!

From the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS):

“Acknowledging the critical role of libraries as anchor institutions in communities across the nation, a group of senators under the leadership of Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 (S. 2271). IMLS logo

The 2017 MLSA reauthorizes the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), showing congressional support for the federal agency. IMLS administers funding through the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA), the only federal program that exclusively covers services and funding for libraries. The LSTA provides more than $183 million for libraries through the Grants to States program, the National Leadership Grants for Libraries, the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, and Native American Library Services.

To be clear, S. 2271 would not ensure full funding* for the programs libraries depend on. Reauthorization of the MLSA is not necessary for IMLS to receive funding: the last MLSA expired in 2016. Rather, S. 2271 would authorize IMLS to continue to exist and give direction about how the agency should operate. Passage of this reauthorization bill would signal that Congress values libraries and supports the mission of IMLS. As ALA President Jim Neal expressed it,

“Today’s introduction of the bipartisan MLSA reauthorization is the first critical step toward ensuring federal support for our nation’s nearly 120,000 libraries. LSTA grants enable libraries in every state to innovate and meet the growing demand for services that meet the needs of our communities.”

The 2017 MLSA continues to support the stated mission of IMLS to inspire libraries to “advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.” It largely mirrors the previous authorization, with some improvements. After considerable input from library professionals across the country, ALA’s Washington Office worked closely with the bill’s lead cosponsors to include numerous recommendations in the legislation such as:

  • explicit allowance for grant funds to be used to help libraries prepare for and provide services after a disaster or emergency;
  • greater use of data-driven tools to measure the impact and maximize the effectiveness of library services; and
  • additional provisions to enable more Native American tribes to participate in IMLS grant programs.

Today’s introduction of the MLSA gives a clear and timely opportunity for each one of our elected federal leaders to show unequivocally their support for libraries.

ALA’s Washington Office encourages you to use the action center to contact your senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 2271. In your emails and calls to senators, tell them how LSTA funds enable your library to offer valuable services to your community. Invite them to visit your library to see for themselves the difference you are making in people’s lives. Ultimately, it is your story and your voice that will persuade your elected leaders to show their support for libraries and cosponsor the MLSA of 2017.

* ALA members have defended funding for IMLS at every turn throughout the appropriations process in 2017, beginning with the administration’s March budget recommendation to effectively eliminate IMLS. That proposal was rejected by House and Senate Appropriators, with both chambers recommending robust funding for IMLS (although final funding bills have not passed Congress). We will aggressively continue our advocacy to fund libraries in the new year. In the meantime, our strategy is to gain cosponsors for MLSA in the Senate and work with representatives to introduce companion legislation in the House.”

Top 10 things to know (and do) about saving library funding

Fight For Libraries! Tell Congress to save library funding.

From the ALA District Dispatch:

The talk of Washington and the library community (when people aren’t talking about the President’s tweets, anyway) is the recent recommendation by the President to completely eliminate funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including their library funding implementing the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program within the Department of Education. Here are the top ten things that you need to know about saving IMLS and more than $210 million in annual federal library funding that will be going on all year.

10. Exactly how much money are we talking about?

LSTA received $183.4 million in FY 2016 while IAL received $27 million. These funding levels are essentially the same for FY 2017 as the year before because Congress failed to enact almost any of the twelve individual appropriations bills that fund specific parts of the federal government and is keeping the governments doors open under a series of temporary authorizations called Continuing Resolutions, or “CRs” in Beltway-speak. Under the terms of a CR, programs are funded at the previous year’s levels (though this year the CR includes a de minimus across the board cut of less than 0.5%). If Congress returns from its upcoming April recess on April 24 and figures out how to pass 11 of the 12 unfinished FY 2017 appropriations bills in less than a week, funding levels for FY 2018 could change. However, that narrow window for Congressional action makes another CR running through the end of the current fiscal year (September 30, 2017) vastly more likely. Continue reading Top 10 things to know (and do) about saving library funding

Take Action for Libraries Day to launch during National Library Week

ALA, library community, advocates, call on nation’s leaders to safeguard IMLS funding

CHICAGO – Libraries of all types are part of a delicate ecosystem that supports the transformation of communities and lives through education and lifelong learning. From the cradle to the grave, libraries provide invaluable resources that serve as a lifeline for billions of users for access to technology, early and digital literacy instruction, job-seeking resources, social services and small business tools.

During National Library Week April 9 – 15, The American Library Association (ALA) will launch Take Action for Libraries Day, a national library advocacy effort observed for the first time on the Thursday of National Library Week, April 13.

In response to President’s Trump proposed budget cuts, this year’s Take Action for Libraries Day will highlight the library community’s efforts to safeguard funding for the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which serves as a critical funding resource for every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories to support libraries and museums. IMLS funding helps support literacy programs for youth, small business service centers, services for veterans and technological resources and services like 3-D printers.

Continue reading Take Action for Libraries Day to launch during National Library Week

Some early success in the fight to fund IMLS!


We are passing along this letter from ALA President Julie Todaro. It looks like there is some growing support in the federal legislature for continuing to fund IMLS!

Remember that Minnesota directly receives nearly $3 million a year from IMLS. They fund the LSTA grants, they support training of all sorts across the profession, and they fund projects too large for one library do to alone. Check out our podcast on Digitization projects to hear about a few amazing things IMLS has helped to fund – including the Minnesota Digital Library, that many of us use every day!

Have you sent an email, or called, or stopped in to visit a federal or state legislator to tell them about the great things libraries do? Yes! Great!! Do it again!! Libraries need all of us to stand up NOW, and tell everyone how wonderful we are! (And we are – so go brag about the things you do every day!) Continue reading Some early success in the fight to fund IMLS!

Library Advocacy: It’s all about you!

Don’t be a potato – remember you are a library professional and speak up for libraries everywhere!

CMLE members, and all library people out there – we need your voice, and we need it now!! We are sharing some advocacy tips from the Association for Library Services for Children (ALSC) and from the Joint Committee on Libraries, Archives, and Museums (CALM), so you hear different library voices asking you to join with us!

Let your federal, and your state, legislators know how important libraries are!! YOU are the best ones to give advice – so do not hesitate! Email! Call! Write! Visit!! Do it now!!

Continue reading Library Advocacy: It’s all about you!

We support libraries!