As you have probably heard, President Trump’s FY18 federal budget proposal eliminates all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This would include the elimination of all federal funding to libraries and the impact on Maryland libraries would be significant. A few statements and articles:
The American Library Association (ALA), both as a whole and its many parts, have been working to prevent the elimination of IMLS. Your advocacy is also very much needed. Here are a couple of ways that you can help now:
1. Ask Representatives to sign onto Dear Appropriator Letters asking for full funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL): This is a very tangible way to show support for IMLS, who receives and distributes these funds to states. You can use Engage to call, email or tweet your Representative. The email engagement does include a pre-written letter that you can personalize to increase the impact. Representatives must sign on by April 3rd. For more information, including a link to the letters, see the District Dispatch article.
In Maryland: Check this database from the ALA Washington Office to see who has signed on to each letter for this year (FY18) and who signed on last year (FY17). Filter by state to see Maryland’s elected officials. As members of the Committee on Appropriations, Representatives Harris and Ruppersberger cannot sign the Dear Appropriator letters, but can include LSTA and IAL in their list of priorities. Last year, Representatives Cummings, Delaney and Sarbanes signed onto the IAL letter, but no Representatives signed onto the LSTA letter. It is critical to have everyone who can sign on this year.
2. Tweet with the hashtag #SAVEIMLS: Share your IMLS story about how funding supports your local community. Search the database of grants at to learn about grants awarded. See more information on how the tweets are being tracked.
Thanks in advance for any advocacy you can provide! More opportunities to advocate will be shared as they become available.