News - Advocacy
Friday, February 14, 2020 10:10 AM

Contact Your Federal Legislators and Urge Them to Support Funding for Libraries

President Trump's proposed FY 2021 budget ends federal funding for libraries and museums. For the fourth year in a row the proposed budget eliminates funding critical to libraries. The budget proposal requests funding to cover the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administrative expenses for an orderly shutdown of the agency beginning October 1, 2020. The budget proposal also cuts $27 million from the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program, which helps school libraries serve students in the most vulnerable communities across America.

As the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, IMLS provides more than $189.3 million for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act. In Michigan, more than $8.5 million has been awarded through competitive grant programs that help museums and libraries offer learning experiences, support community and civic engagement, care for collections, and provide digital access to content since 2011. Through the Grants to States Program, the largest grant program run by IMLS, Michigan was allotted more than $4.5 million in FY 20.

This IMLS funding is critical to supporting programs aimed at improving literacy, including Michigan Reads! and Every Child Ready to Read; continuing education for library staff; Michigan's eLibrary (MeL) the State of Michigan’s digital library including MeLCat, a shared state-wide catalog representing more than 440 participating libraries; as well as grant programs for libraries that increase access and create and strengthen partnerships with community groups.

The President’s FY 2021 budget request is the first step in a long appropriations process. We ask all library supporters to please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives today and urge them to preserve the only federal funding programs for libraries and museums!

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