Support Library Funding through the IMLS

You’ll hear a lot from us in the coming weeks about the IMLS (Institute for Museum and Library Services.) This federally-funded agency has been targeted for elimination in the new budget proposal before Congress. While the Library hasn’t received a check directly from the federal government in years, I assure you that if you have used any resource in the library—checked out items, attended a program, or used one of our free databases—you have benefited from the IMLS. The current “Come Play with Me” Family Place programs are funded indirectly by the IMLS. While the Library remains a non-political place, when a policy proposal directly affects our ability to serve you, we won’t be silent. Please help us keep the IMLS intact. Here are two steps you can take to support your local library:

  1.  Ask your Representative to support LSTA and IAL funding prior to the House of Representatives’ April 3 deadline.
  2.  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. Click here to find contact information for your members of Congress.

Additional tools for supporting our colleagues in museums, the arts, and humanities are available by visiting the websites of the National Humanities Alliance, Americans for the Arts Action Fund, and American Alliance of Museums.

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 email
Dear Madam/Sir,

As one of your constituents and as a 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. Our library absolutely depends on 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 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. Our library absolutely depends on 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.