Some of you may have heard that the President’s proposed federal budget calls for about a 10% cut in Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding, including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding. This is the major source of federal funding for libraries and is a huge part of the NH State Library’s budget, which along with many other things, pays for our electronic databases.
But what you may not have heard is that an amendment in the House to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution (Amendment #35, submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ)) seeks to completely eliminate all LSTA funding. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
What can you do about this? ALA recommends contacting your Representatives in Congress and urging them to oppose Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution, and remind them of the following:
- Libraries are essential to every community, and federal funding is critical for ensuring library resources and services remain available to their constituents.
- LSTA supports all kinds of libraries including school, academic, and public libraries.
- Public libraries are the primary source of no-fee access to the Internet and are active in assisting the public with online job searches, e-government services, and lifelong learning.
More information is available on the ALA Washington Office blog, District Dispatch, http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=5661.
Feel free to contact me as well with questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them.
– Steve Butzel, ALA Councilor