April 15, 2014

Do Libraries Matter in Paul Ryan’s World? | Advocate’s Corner

Jeffrey W. Smith

Over the past several weeks, decision-makers inside of the Capital Beltway in Washington, DC, have turned their attention to the federal budgeting process for FY 2015.President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have released starkly different visions for what our nation should be spending money on.

Ryan’s Proposed 2015 Budget Would Eliminate IMLS

On April 1, House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his budget proposal for the fiscal year 2015. It would cut five trillion dollars from federal balance sheets in the next decade by making significant cuts to spending on initiatives like Medicare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps. Among librarians, though, the most controversial cost-saving measure proposed in the Ryan budget might be its elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) entirely, cutting millions in grants to libraries around the country.

Where the President’s Budget Would Leave Libraries

President Barack Obama’s $3.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2015 proposes slight cuts in federal library spending, strongly promotes a variety of early education programs, and funds an ongoing mission to connect students to high-speed Internet in their schools and libraries.

Texas Successfully Appeals IMLS Funding Cuts

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) successfully appealed an October 2013 decision by the Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS), restoring $6.5 million in federal matching funds designated to support library activities across the Lone Star State.

IMLS Grants $4.3 Million for School Readiness, Summer Reading Programs

IMLS Grants $4.3 Million for School Readiness, Summer Reading Programs

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced that it is awarding $4,329,567 in grants to 20 museums and libraries in 17 communities in order to support the emerging role of these institutions in providing early learning opportunities, especially for low-income families.

Howard County (MD) Libraries to Expand HiTech Initiative with $267,500 IMLS Grant

Howard County (MD) Libraries to Expand HiTech Initiative with $267,500 IMLS Grant

Maryland’s Howard County Library System, 2013 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, will use the $276,500 grant it has received from the Institute of Library & Museum Services (IMLS) to expand its HiTech program. The program is a STEM education initiative for teens that provides project-based classes in such skill areas as computer programming, 3-D animation, green energy, nanotechnology, music/video production, ebooks, game app design, cybersecurity, and robotics.

IMLS, NARA, and Library Of Congress Closed During Government Shutdown

After late night wrangling failed to produce a short term spending bill that could pass both the Senate and House of Representatives, the U.S. federal government has shut down for the first time in nearly two decades. As of this morning, federal agencies that support the mission of libraries around the country — from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences to the Library of Congress have found themselves forced to close their doors and furlough the majority of their staffers.

IMLS Says Libraries Key to Early Learning

IMLS Says Libraries Key to Early Learning

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading today unveiled a new report on the role of museums and libraries in early learning, and issued a call to action for policymakers, schools, funders, and parents to include these institutions in comprehensive early learning strategies.

IMLS Invites Civic-Minded Techies To Hack Agency Data

IMLS Invites Civic-Minded Techies to Hack Agency Data

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced on May 21 its plans to participate in the first National Day of Civic Hacking on June 1 and 2. Described as a “public-private-people partnership,” the event is being further described as “the largest ever to bring together citizens from around the country to work with local, state, and federal governments—as well as private sector organizations—with the common goal of improving their community through technology.”

IMLS Announces Recipients of 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

IMLS Announces Recipients of 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

From the Institute for Museum and Library Services: The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the recipients of the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for [...]