Hell No! Our Libraries Can’t Go!

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Libraries are magical places, but that doesn’t mean they are run on magic alone. The operation of a successful library program depends on many people dedicated to improving literacy in their communities and creating a free and open intellectual space for inspired minds to thrive.

In the United States, there are 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums . The Institute of Museum and Library Services supports the full range of libraries and museums as part of their mission to, “inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. We provide leadership through research, policy development, and grant making.” This organization also administers federal funding to libraries.

With our nation’s libraries welcoming more than 1.5 billion in-person visitors each year, one would think that libraries were due a budget increase to help better serve those patrons.

But one would be wrong.

The U.S. House Budget Committee proposed to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services last month, causing consternation among librarians, museum curators, and the people they serve.

American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young said in response to the call to eliminate the IMLS, “Through grant-making and federal funding, IMLS aids libraries in supporting lifelong learning and equitable access for all. Since its founding, IMLS has provided invaluable leadership and expert oversight to libraries and supported libraries in providing dynamic services to their patrons, such as workforce training, maker spaces, coding classes and entrepreneurship resources.”

Ms. Young called on Congress and President Barak Obama to reject the House Resolution budget.

Learn more about what the Institute does in this informative video with Donald Delauter at the 2010 American Library Association Annual Conference.

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If you’re as distressed as we are about the potential axing of the Institute of Museum and Library Services as we are, write to your representatives and President Obama asking them to save this vital service.

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