Among many other activities, the agency helps cash-strapped libraries buy ebooks. It encourages innovation in a number of areas. Former Director Susan Hildreth has called IMLS a kind of venture fund for the library world.
The budget of about $230 million covers just a fraction of library expenditures, but it’s a crucial fraction.
Please act now since the deadline for comment to Senators is tomorrow, Wednesday. Check up on your senators ASAP if you live in the U.S.
If they’re not shown as committed to IMLS funding, then contact them via email or phone before the end of the day Wednesday. It’s the deadline for comments on the fate of IMLS and related legislation.
Slightly edited and updated, here’s the word from the American Library Association.
As you may have seen, the White House budget that was released on Thursday, March 16, calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to our nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums.
ALA and its Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) seek your help to ensure that IMLS is saved, because without strong, well-supported libraries, our children and families will not have the resources and support they need to succeed in school and prepare for college, careers, and life.
ALSC leadership and the Advocacy and Legislation Committee are working on this issue with ALA and will be preparing additional information for ALSC members, but here is what you can do right now:
1. Start calling and emailing!
Go to http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home to begin making calls or to email to #SaveIMLS.
2. Call or email your Senators.
Ask them to publicly oppose wiping out IMLS, and ask them to commit to fighting for federal library funding. You can find talking points and an email template on the Action Center and at the menu links below:
3. Share your library’s IMLS story on social media using #SaveIMLS.
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 on the IMLS website.
4. Sign up to receive ALA’s action alerts.
We will let you know when and how to take action and send you the talking points and background information.
5. Share this information widely!
Update, May 27: Although one of the organizers of the IMLS campaign told of a deadline, I don’t see the harm of speaking up now. Contact senators directly if you find the form is not working.
Related: IMLS on the proposed shutdown.