On the same day that the American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and other notable book awards, the White House announced its budget, which cut all federal funding for America’s library services, also known as Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
This happened in 2017 as well, and libraries fought back, gathering bi-partisan support in Congress to continue library funding. IMLS provides all sorts of library services, but in my opinion it is most valuable in supporting more equal access to rural areas around the country. If you live in an area where no internet access is provided (my library serves a neighboring county where this is the case) then you are most likely to get your tax forms, apply for jobs, and do your homework in a library. Certain IMLS funds go directly to ensure that libraries in these areas can support these services, especially since they are less likely to receive the same kind of local support/funding that those of us in well-populated areas benefit from. Cutting IMLS from the budget is going to directly impact the people in these areas, they may well be those that need it the most.
If you are interested in showing your support for IMLS please contact your Congress-person and Senators. ALA has created this contact form which is quick and easy to use. Please also use the hashtag #FundLibraries in your social media posts.