Use ALA Talking Points

Background

The President just proposed wiping out virtually all of the roughly $180 million in federal library funding by eliminating the agency that administers it: the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS);

This tiny amount of money measured against almost any other line in the federal budget (about half the budget for the Executive Office of the President alone, for example) is passed through to states which must match federal dollars and decide for themselves how best to use the money;

IMLS has a great and long-standing bipartisan reputation for efficiency and effectiveness; and

Grants are creatively used by the states for everything from critical summer reading programs for kids to building high-tech small business service centers to helping veterans apply for benefits and making 3D printers available that can print prototypes for entrepreneurs for pennies.

Message

The President has just proposed eliminating the tiny amount of federal money ($183 million) provided to every state in the country for small, innovative, community-building grants – hundreds every year-- by eliminating the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS);

He also wants to zero out the infinitesimal amount ($27million) that the government provides annually to help school libraries buy books and other materials for school kids in the most poverty-stricken cities and rural communities in the nation;

I want [Representative/Senator] ______________ to publicly say – TODAY – that [s/he] opposes wiping out IMLS and will fight to save federal library funding in Congress;

Silence is not an option and I’m listening!

About IMLS

Every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding through IMLS to support their state’s libraries and museums.  In FY14 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $154,800,000.  In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for.  In FY14 they awarded 594 grants (from 1,299 applications) totaling more than $54,700,000.  Visit the IMLS site to see how much funding your state receives from them.