Thursday, April 13, 2017

6 Ways to Support Public Libraries | April 9, 2017

Public libraries | Advocacy | Library funding

They may be in jeopardy, thanks to Trump's budget outline.



Public libraries may be in jeopardy. In mid-March, Donald Trump’s “skinny budget” outline was released, which included cuts to the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment of the Humanities, among other agencies. The cuts included an extensive $230 million cut for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which directly affects public library funding. The IMLS also receives funding from other agencies subject to termination or budget cuts, such as Innovative Approaches to Literary program through the Department of Education.

“Our initial assessment of [Trump’s] ‘skinny budget’ puts us at over $300 million in cuts, and when we assess individual programs, we’re looking at many more millions,” Julie Todaro, the president of the American Library Association, tells Teen Vogue. “[This budget] cuts across all the agencies who regularly fund our initiatives based on, in some cases, 75 years of partnership.”

In addition to promoting literacy and equitable education for all, libraries provide crucial community resources like access to academic databases, ESL classes, and computer classes for all ages. Librarians also serve as your local experts for the questions a Google search couldn’t answer. In the era of fake news and digital surveillance, libraries both provide media literacy and data privacy. Here are just a few quick ways to support your local branches at this very moment.

1. Check out books. Right now.

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