Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Federal Funding for Libraries is Under Serious Threat

Representative Scott Garrett, apparently has a lot of time on his hands. So much so that he wants to cut library funding to keep reading books to kids. Garrett represents New Jeresy’s 5th district, a rich suburban district east of New York City. Both socially, and financially conservative Garret has co-sponsored bills like the ObamaCare role back, and also a much criticized bill that would redefine rape to make it harder for women to get support from the federal government for abortions related to rape.

If you not already fed up with Garrett, today Garrett crossed the line. Introducing Amendment 35 to the continuing resolution (how the government pays its bills), Garrett proposes to get rid of the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) by cutting its funding to zero. I guess Garret thinks this is just another money waster.

IMLS is the major grant agency of the US Federal Government that deals with libraries. Not only that, but IMLS has been a leader in assembling information about libraries, and tracking the developments in library services and programming. crucially the IMLS administers the Library Services and Technology Act, a law that’s been instrumental in closing the digital divide. If you’re a jobless American chances are you’ve been at the public library recently using their computers to look for a job. Many of those were paid for through IMLS grants. Zeroing out ILMS’s budget is an assault on libraries that’s equivalent to him getting rid of funding for the Library of Congress. With a yahoo like Garrett, who knows, maybe that’s the next cut coming down the line.

Take action now!

You can email your representative via Capwiz, or give them a call at (202) 224-3121

Remember for every dollar we spend on libraries they contribute minimally $4.20 back to the economy. Also out is a great post over at OCLC that sums up the economic benefits of libraries. Give it a read before you call your representive and back that rage up with some true facts.

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