As with the past three years, the President’s FY21 Budget recommendations propose a drastic cut in funding to the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) that would shutter the agency in October 2020, and eliminate Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), Grants to States funding received annually by all State Libraries.
IMLS has released a statement concerning the proposed cuts:
The State Library of Kansas receives $1.8 million from the LSTA program, which fund such programs and services as: the Statewide Databases, the Kansas Statewide Catalog, Talking Books services and staff, Summer Reading funding, Kansas Notable Books, Kansas Reads to Pre-Schoolers, physical items for statewide circulation, e-Content to RB Digital and Cloud Library, and any sub-grants that we are able to provide.
This is just a quick overview of how those funds are used and almost every community throughout the state would feel the loss of those funds in their public libraries, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.
ALA has also released a statement (click HERE for link) with information about the proposed budget cuts, and they are encouraging everyone to reach out to their members of Congress by using this online form: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/contact-congress
I encourage librarians to engage in conversations with their board and local stakeholders about this situation, and encourage all Kansans to lend their voice of support.
This fight is not new and in past years Congress has rejected such proposed budget cuts, but apathy can be leveraged and exploited, resulting in actions our communities cannot afford.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
-- Eric Norris