Every year, nearly $200 million in federal library funding is awarded to every state by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In Minnesota, a large portion of approximately $2.8 million underwrites critical library services covering operational costs at the Braille and Talking Book Library. In addition, these federal funds are used for our state’s competitive LSTA grants.
IMLS can do the work of distributing funds because Congress passed and periodically” reauthorizes” the Museum and Library Services Act. It’s time for Congress to renew this important landmark legislation and library champions in the Senate have just introduced a bill, S. 3391. With just a few weeks remaining after the November elections to get it passed, however, those Senators need to help from their colleagues. The American Library Association wants every Senator to hear from his or her constituents asking them to “co-sponsor” S. 3391.
- S. 3391 is a bi-partisan bill with broad support from the library and museum communities, and in Congress;
- S. 3391 highlights the role of libraries as community hubs, equipped to meet ever evolving community needs, including: literacy, education, lifelong learning, workforce development, economic and business development, digital literacy skills critical thinking, financial literacy skills and new and emerging technology;
- S. 3391 requires the use of data driven tools, including research, analysis and modeling, evaluation, and dissemination to assess and assure the impact and effectiveness of funded programs; and
- S. 3391 will enhance IMLS’ collaborative efforts by expanding the number of federal agencies able to fully leverage the role of libraries and museums in supporting and meeting the needs of Americans.