Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Funding Fight 2018 - #SaveIMLS


From the American Library Associaition - District Dispatch, September 14, 2017

"House approves full IMLS, LSTA and IAL funding for FY 2018

"Today, the full House of Representatives voted as part of a large spending package (H.R. 3354) not to make any cuts in federal funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including all funding for its programs under the Library Services and Technology Act, and for the Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. Notably, the package also increased funding for the National Library of Medicine by $6 million...[read more]"

From the American Library Assoicaiton President Jim Neal's July 13, 2017 statement:

"I am pleased to report that, this evening, the House Appropriations subcommittee that deals with library funding (Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies) voted to recommend level funding in FY2018 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS, $231 million), likely including $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act, as well as $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program.

Four months ago, President Trump announced that he wanted to eliminate IMLS and federal funding for libraries. Since then, all of us have been communicating with our members of Congress about the value of libraries. This evening's Subcommittee vote, one important step in the lengthy congressional appropriations process, shows that our elected officials are listening to us and recognize libraries' importance in the communities they represent. We are grateful to the leaders of the Subcommittee, Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-4) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), and all Subcommittee members, for their support.

We have not saved FY18 federal library funding yet. Hurdles can arise at each stage of the appropriations process, which will continue into the fall. But the fact that federal library funding was not cut at this particular stage shows what can be accomplished when ALA members work together. We expect the full House Appropriations Committee to vote on the subcommittee bills as early as next Wednesday, July 19. I will send an update as soon as we have the results of the full committee's actions.

In the meantime, I encourage you to stay informed and stay involved. Libraries and the millions of people we serve are in a better position today because of your advocacy."

Record-setting Senate support is needed to save federal library funding! Senator Gillibrand has signed both of the "Dear Appropriator" letters! Contact Senator Schumer and urgehim to do the same!

Senators have until May 24 to let our champions know that they will sign the separate LSTA and IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters, so there’s no time to lose. Use ALA’s Legislative Action Center today to contact both of your Senators and ask them to support federal funding for libraries by signing on to both the Reed/Collins LSTA and Reed/Grassley/Stabenow IAL Dear Appropriator letters.

Many Senators will only sign if their constituents ask them to. Let them know why libraries are important to your community and ask them directly to show their support.

IMLS funding for FY2017 has been secured!

From the American Library Assoicaiton President Julie Todaro's May 2, 2017 statement:

"ALA is pleased that the FY17 budget proposed by Congress contains a $1 million increase in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In congressional meetings on Capitol Hill today, participants in the 2017 National Library Legislative Day from all 50 states are saying “thank you” to members of Congress for making our nation’s libraries a priority this year. This opportunity to say thanks is also a chance to voice our unequivocal opposition to threats to cut funding in FY2018. Now is the time to show our elected leaders how their constituents in every single congressional district rely on our services. Now is the time to galvanize library users, to contact our elected leaders and to invite members of Congress to visit our libraries during the next congressional recess over Memorial Day week. It is up to us to show Congress that libraries may be one of our nation’s best investments."

More from ALA

From the American Library Assoicaiton President Julie Todaro's March 16, 2017 statement:

"The President's proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in his FY2018 budget just released, and with it effectively all federal funding for libraries of all kinds, is counterproductive and short-sighted. The American Library Association will mobilize its members, Congressional library champions and the millions upon millions of people we serve in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a Congressional reality.  Libraries leverage the tiny amount of federal funds they receive through their states into an incredible range of services for virtually all Americans everywhere to produce what could well be the highest economic and social "ROI" in the entire federal budget.

“The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funded through IMLS is the primary annual source of funding for libraries in the federal budget. IMLS distributes the majority of LSTA funds to every state in the nation according to a population-based formula. Each state library determines how to best spend its allocated federal funds, which must be matched at the state level. The range of services provided to millions of Americans through LSTA grants is matched only by the creativity of the libraries that receive them: veterans transitioning to civilian life, small businesses seeking to expand their business online, summer reading programs, resources for blind and hearing-impaired patrons, resume writing and job skills workshops and computer coding courses to teach youth 21st century job skills.

"America's more than 120,000 public, school, college and university and many other libraries are not piles of archived books. They're trusted centers for education, employment, entrepreneurship and free inquiry at the core of communities in every state in the country – and in every Congressional district. And they’re staffed by the original search engines: skilled and engaged librarians."

Advocacy Alert: #SaveIMLS

 If you are a library supporter, your Senator needs to hear from you TODAY! At least $210 million in federal library funding is on the budget-cutter's chopping block. Our champions in the Senate need your help to save it and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Everything you need is at ALA's Legislative Action Center now, but visit the District Dispatch for more context.

Now, there is a concrete thing you can ask your Representative to do to help protect library funding. Please call your Representative and ask them to sign both the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) "Dear Appropriator" letters our champions have circulated, otherwise the powerful Appropriations Committees will not make LSTA and IAL a priority - dramatically increasing the odds that they will be cut or eliminated next year.

ALA's Legislative Action Center gives you everything you need to identify your Senator and to tell him or her to sign the LSTA and IAL "Dear Appropriator" letters being circulated to protect both of these critical programs in the FY 2018 federal budget.

Impact in New York

Defunding the IMLS, and the LSTA program, would have devastating impacts on statewide library services that are provided by the NYS library and Division of Library Development.

LSTA funds help ensure that New Yorkers have what it takes to compete and succeed in today’s economy. 

LSTA funding for NYS has averaged $8 MILLION / year over the past five years.

LSTA funds and mandated State matching funds support almost all of the statewide programs and services of the State Library entirely, or in part.  

LSTA now represents 43% of the State Library’s operating revenues. Some 55 FTEs are supported with LSTA funds, more than half of the State Library staff.  All but 2 of the 16 positions in Library Development are supported with federal LSTA funds.

Put in context, the elimination of these federal funds would decimate the State Library, an organization that over the past decade has already suffered the loss of $7 million in State funds,  $1.5 million in federal LSTA funds and 75 staff positions (from 178 to 103 FTE). As the State of New York reduced State funding for the State Library, LSTA funds helped, in part to sustain critical statewide library programs and services.

LSTA funds currently support:

  1. New York Online Virtual Library (entirely LSTA)
  2. Summer Reading at New York Libraries (in large part)
  3. Ready to Read at New York Libraries (in large part)
  4. Statewide Library Data Collection and Data Dissemination
  5. Statewide Support for a Skilled Library Workforce and Library Trustees (e.g. Web Junction, Public Librarian Certification, Trustee Education, Webinars)
  6. Statewide Services and Programs from the Division of Library Development such as staff support and technical assistance for:
    1. a strong statewide library infrastructure composed of 73 library systems and 7,000 libraries of all types;
    2. multiple outreach, literacy and workforce development programs for special populations that otherwise would have difficulty accessing library services;  
    3. statewide programs promoting increased access for New Yorkers to information and library materials through direct access, resource sharing, digitization, innovative technology and broadband services and improved library facilities.
    4. preservation and disaster planning/response initiatives
  7. State Library Websites and social media tools for use by the public and the library community
  8. Research Library Services such as ILL, Digitization Initiatives, History and Genealogy Services, Public programs and exhibits

More on LSTA supported programs in New York

Information on IMLS Funding in NYS from the IMLS

General Information about the IMLS

Take Action to #SaveIMLS

The ALA's Online Advocacy Center provides you with all the tools you need!
Their system will provide you with editable, pre-drafted messages that will be automatically delivered to your representatives.

Take Action NOW!