February 16, 2018

Holding Pattern | Budgets & Funding

LJ’s 2018 Budget Survey shows overall budgets continuing to increase slightly, but federal funding disputes and new tax laws raise concern.

Federal Budget Request Seeks to Defund IMLS, Cultural Agencies—Again

The FY19 budget request released on February 12 by the Trump administration calls for the defunding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as well as a number of other programs relevant to libraries, just as it did last year.

KY Governor’s Budget Would Eliminate Library Funds

Library Legislative Day in Kentucky on February 15 will give directors and advocates their first real chance to push back against Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent FY18–20 budget proposal, which seeks to eliminate every penny of the $2.5 million currently earmarked for direct state aid to libraries.

NEH Announces New Grants to Support Humanities Infrastructure

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced a new program to create and sustain the infrastructure underlying humanities initiatives in public libraries, archives, museums, colleges and universities, historic sites, scholarly associations, and other cultural institutions.

Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 Introduced in Senate

The Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate on December 21 by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bipartisan bill, S. 2271, reauthorizes the core programs administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): the Museum Services Act and the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA), which provides more than $183 million in funding through the Grants to States program; National Leadership Grants for Libraries; the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program; and Native American Library Services. The agency has been a source of support for public, academic, research, special, and tribal libraries, as well as some 35,000 museums.

Closure Plans for Cincinnati Library’s North Building Spark Concerns

Update: At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, December 20, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) board voted 5–0 (two members were not in attendance) not to sell the North Building. Instead, the library will seek a 1 mill tax levy in May, 2018 to help supplement its $54 million facilities plan. The library will host a community conversation on December 27.

November 2017 Elections Bring Large and Small Wins for Libraries

As the preliminary results from the November 7 elections emerged, the news from library ballots across the country was overwhelmingly positive. Of 36 library measures tracked by LJ and EveryLibrary, a national nonprofit political action committee for libraries, 27 passed, three failed, and six were too early to call at press time.

Knight Foundation, Aspen Institute Launch Trust, Media and Democracy Initiative

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced September 25 the launch of a major new program, the Trust, Media and Democracy Initiative (TMD), in partnership with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. The initiative will spend the next year working to explore the erosion of trust in democratic institutions—particularly the press—and examine solutions around rebuilding that relationship in order to support the role of “strong, trusted journalism as essential to a healthy democracy.” TMD will be run by the Aspen Institute, with $2 million in support from KF.

Sharing The Story | LJ 2017 Marketer of the Year Award

Combining marketing savvy and hometown ties, Medina County’s Tina Sabol turned a library levy campaign into a communitywide advocacy win/

House Approves IMLS, LSTA, IAL Funding for FY18

When President Donald Trump released his preliminary budget proposal for FY18 in March, revealing major cuts to government spending that would have eliminated support for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the library community took the threat as a call to arms. The dynamic response paid off on September 14, when the full House of Representatives voted to approve a spending package, H.R. 3354, that would preserve federal funding for IMLS at FY17 levels, as well as all funding for its programs under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program.