Help PLA Save Federal Funding for Libraries!

On March 16, U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his preliminary budget proposal for 2018. In addition to drastic cuts across a wide range of departments and agencies, the proposed budget calls for the elimination of all federal funding to the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation's hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums. 

PLA leadership echoes ALA’s position that the proposal to eliminate federal library funding is “counterproductive and short-sighted.” We strongly believe it’s time for library professionals and supporters to make our priorities clear to Congress, and we want you to join in this important effort.

UPDATE: ALA applauds FY2017 budget increase for IMLS, calls on library supporters to defend federal library funding in FY2018 budget.

There are several actions you can take right now to help make a difference:

  1. Contact your Members of Congress. Ask them to publicly oppose wiping out IMLS, and ask them to commit to fighting for federal library funding. We’ve included language for sample Emails, Tweets, and Phone Scripts, below. Find contact information for your members of Congress here: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home
     
  2. Share your library’s IMLS story using the #SaveIMLS hashtag. Tell us how IMLS funding supports your local community. If you aren’t sure which IMLS grants your library has received, you can check the searchable database available on the IMLS website.
     
  3. Sign up for ALA Action Alerts and District Dispatch. We will let you know when and how to take action, and send you talking points and background information.
     
  4. Register to participate in National Library Legislative Day (May 1–2), either in-person on Capitol Hill, or through virtual participation.

Sample Tweet

[INSERT YOUR REP’S TWITTER HANDLE] People all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds depend on libraries every day. Say no to cutting the Institute of Museum & Library Services

Sample E-mail

Dear Madam/Sir,

As one of your constituents as a member/supporter of the Public Library Association, I am writing to ask that you oppose the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which the White House budget is proposing to do. Public libraries play a critical role in enhancing communities through early childhood literacy, computer training, workforce development, and much more. We absolutely depend funding from IMLS to provide these critical services in your district, and your constituents will be negatively affected if this budget becomes reality. Thank you for your time.

Sample Script for Phone Call

Hello, my name is ____________________. As a voter and as a member/supporter of the Public Library Association, I’m calling to ask the Senator/Representative to oppose the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which the White House budget is proposing to do. Public libraries play a critical role in enhancing communities through early childhood literacy, computer training, workforce development, and much more. We absolutely depend funding from IMLS to provide these critical services in your district, and your constituents will be negatively affected if this budget becomes reality. Thank you for your time.