As you may already have heard, the new White House budget proposal calls for the defunding of the Institute of Museum & Library Services. IMLS is the only agency charged with providing federal assistance to our nation’s public libraries.
This is not the first time that vital library funding has been in jeopardy - and Friends have successfully mobilized local grassroots support in defense of their favorite public institution in the past. Here’s hoping that this is another one of those times.
Here is a list of things you can do to advocate on behalf of IMLS and libraries across the country.
1. First and foremost, contact your congressional representatives. Voice your stalwart support for IMLS and federal LSTA funding. Unsure who represents you in one or both chambers? Take advantage of the State of Minnesota’s convenient “Who Represents Me?” website. Details for the offices of senators Franken and Klobuchar, as well as all eight members of the Minnesota delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, are available here.
2. Odds are, your library has directly benefited from IMLS in the past. Check it out in the agency’s searchable database, and share these stories far and wide – through social media, and any other avenues open to you. If you use Twitter or Facebook, be sure to use the #SaveIMLS hashtag.
3. Sign up to receive the American Library Association’s helpful Action Alerts, in order to stay abreast of developments.
4. It’s not too late to sign up for National Library Legislative Day 2017, scheduled for May 1-2 in Washington, D.C. Click here for details, including advocacy itinerary, RSVP details, hotel accommodation options, and more. It’s no small commitment, but boots on the ground this year make more difference than ever.