August 20, 2017

Be Heard: Advocacy in Action | Federal Advocacy

U.S. library advocates battle unprecedented challenges to federal support; you can help.

What’s Next for Federal Funding | Federal Advocacy

With FY17 and FY18 and presidential and congressional budgets all jumbled together in the news cycle, it can be tough to keep track of what’s still on the table and when it needs attention. At right is a time line of what to expect in the fight for federal funding for libraries. While it’s accurate as of press time, the situation has been changing rapidly, so sign up for the American Library Association’s Washington Office District Dispatch e-newsletter to get the most recent updates.

ALA: Fighting for Funding | Federal Advocacy

On July 13, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies voted to recommend level funding in FY18 for IMLS, likely including $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. The full Appropriations Committee markup and vote took place on July 19; the budget passed 28–22. While the vote was an important step toward securing federal library funding going forward, the fight is not over, says ALA president Jim Neal.

CT Library Supporters Worry as Doomsday Spending Plan Hangs Overhead

Being able to easily get their hands on materials needed for job hunting, financial or legal research, or college applications, whether or not their local branch has them, saves library patrons in Connecticut money and time. In many cases, it may be their only option.

LYRASIS Names Recipients of Leadership Circle Catalyst Fund

LYRASIS last month named the first recipients of its $100,000 LYRASIS Leadership Circle’s Catalyst Fund, which was created to support new ideas and projects by LYRASIS members.

OITP’s Report from the Swamp | ALA Annual 2017

Looking beyond the headlines to examine public policy issues that affect the American Library Association (ALA), panelists at the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) session “Report from the Swamp: Policy Developments from Washington” discussed the need for ongoing vigilance—and also promising avenues for advocacy.

Montana State Library To See Cuts in Budget, Staff, Service

The first staff layoffs since 2011 is this confirmed will take effect in July at the Montana State Library (MSL) in Helena, as one of several cost-cutting measures forced by budget cuts enacted by the legislature for FY18 and 19. And MSL officials are bracing for a second, even steeper round of reductions in funding, staff, and services later this summer.

New York City’s FY18 Budget Promises $110M for Libraries

In what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the earliest budget agreement since 1992, on June 6 New York City Council voted to adopt the city’s FY18 budget, which will include $110 million for capital projects in libraries across the city, more than doubling capital library funding.

Federal Budget Compromise Keeps—and Boosts—IMLS Funding

UPDATE: Trump’s FY18 budget request to Congress, released May 23, proposes to cut nearly all funding for IMLS, NEA, NEH, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among many severe cuts to social service and non-millitary domestic programs. The proposed budget would keep ten percent of IMLS’s budget for costs necessary to shut down the agency.

Public Outcry Saves Saskatchewan Library Funds

In an abrupt about-face, the provincial government of Saskatchewan, Canada, on April 24 restored every penny of the $4.8 million it had cut just a month earlier from public library funding as part of its 2017–18 budget. It was a reversal that elected officials admit was prompted by mounting public opposition to the cuts, spurred in part by a Facebook group that sprang up almost overnight to energize many grassroots protests.