August 17, 2017

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.

The State(s) of National Advocacy | Federal Advocacy

Since its founding in 2012, EveryLibrary, the only political action committee (PAC) for libraries, has mainly focused on helping libraries win elections for local funding levies, building and operating referenda, and independent taxing districts—the bread and butter of American library support at the local level. But the threat to national funding demanded a different approach.

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.

15 Libraries Named IMLS National Medal Finalists

UPDATED:The 2017 National Medal recipient libraries, announced on May 15, are:

Cedar Rapids Public Library, IA
Long Beach Public Library, CA
Richland Library, Columbia, SC
University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis
Waterville Public Library, ME

Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Program Launches

Starting in 2017, 15 small and rural public libraries from across the United States will participate in the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project, an 18-month training program aimed at reimagining and reconfiguring libraries to support active learning, foster social connections, and be places of continued discovery. The project will lead participating libraries through four stages of training, help them to develop an online cohort, and connect their work to the profession at large. Led by a project team of WebJunction, a program of OCLC Research, the project is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL). Participating libraries will receive $5,000 toward their space redesigns.

IMLS, COSLA Launch “Measures That Matter”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Chief Offices of State Library Agencies (COSLA) recently announced a project called “Measures that Matter,” with the aim of evaluating data collection by public libraries in the United States. This project will survey the current state of public library data, assessing current strengths and weaknesses and formulating a plan for future action.

Five Libraries Win 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Ten libraries and museums were presented with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service in a ceremony at the White House on June 1. First Lady Michelle Obama joined IMLS director Kathryn K. Matthew to honor institutions from across the country for outstanding service to their communities, including one academic and four public libraries: North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh; Brooklyn Public Library, NY; Madison Public Library, WI; Otis Library, Norwich, CT; and Santa Ana Public Library, CA.

Proposed Federal Budget Could Cut State Library Funding by Nearly $1 Million

President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget request to the U.S. Congress, released on February 9 by the U.S. Government Publishing Office and the Office of Management and Budget, included $230,000,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Of the total FY17 appropriations request for IMLS, $228,593,000 is allocated for programs and administrative costs authorized by the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA), which comprises the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Museum Services Act (MSA). Some $182,429,000 would go toward programs authorized by LSTA: grants to state library agencies, Native American and Native Hawaiian library services, the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, and National Leadership Grants for libraries.

Kathryn Matthew To Serve as IMLS Director

The U.S. Senate announced its confirmation of Kathryn (“Kit”) Matthew as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, on September 22. Matthew succeeds IMLS deputy director for library services Maura Marx (a 2006 LJ Mover & Shaker), who served as acting director since previous director Susan Hildreth’s term ended in January. The four-year directorship alternates between leaders from the library and the museum communities, in order to ensure representation from both sectors. President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Matthew for the position on March 10, along with nominees and appointees for several other key administrative posts.

“All Eyes on IMLS”: Priorities for 2015 | ALA Midwinter 2015

Eager to promote strategic priorities for 2015, officials for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) trained a spotlight on the various federal funding resources available through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) during a recent American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter session in Chicago. At a talk entitled, “All Eyes on IMLS: Funding Priorities and Reauthorization,” IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx and Robin Dale, the associate deputy director for state programs, outlined the scope and focus of LSTA’s grants to states and other discretionary spending for libraries.