California Library Association
Joint Statement of the Board of Directors and Advocacy & Legislation Committee
President Trump’s FY2018 budget eliminates all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and undermines the very foundation of a democratic society.
Dubbed “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” this budget does the exact opposite by delivering a devastating blow to the 120,000 libraries nationwide that provide essential services to millions of Americans.
Libraries are drivers of economic success and hubs of entrepreneurship and invention. They promote literacy at all ages, enable measurable improvements in student achievement, provide job retraining and job search services, and act as safe and welcoming community centers in neighborhoods across the US. They connect people with the information and services they need to succeed in life, and provide access to technology and to free resources and services for our most vulnerable and underserved residents including veterans, people experiencing homelessness, children, and the elderly.
Libraries do all of this on shoestring budgets, and leverage the miniscule amount of federal funding that they receive through their States to deliver a wide array of services in every community in our nation. It is hard to find another public service that has a comparable return on investment.
Through its grants to State Libraries IMLS provides vital funding for the development of innovative library services to meet community needs. Projects supported by IMLS in California include helping adults earn their high school diplomas, providing books to underserved rural areas, and increasing access to mental health resources. IMLS funds also support California’s statewide Summer Reading program to ensure that kids maintain their reading skills over the summer break, preservation of local historical records, and enhanced access to library collections.