February 16, 2018

Compass Reading: IMLS’s 2018–22 Strategic Plan Sets a New Tone | Editorial

With 2018 under way, the work to ensure key funding at the federal level steps up. On December 21, 2017, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) of 2017. The bill, essentially a reauthorization of the programs administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, reasserts the value of libraries and museums in the cultural fabric and creates an opportunity for political leaders to put a stake in the ground for these vital institutions.

IMLS Report: State Library Funding Still Suffering

State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) across the country experienced major decreases in revenue and staffing during the economic recession, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) biennial State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) Survey, conducted in FY16.

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.

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.

Libraries Take Key Roles in IMLS Community Catalyst Grant Projects

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has awarded 12 organizations Community Catalyst Grants totaling $1,637,271. Libraries are project partners of eight of the 12.

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.