While we are not a political group in any way shape or form, the current federal budget as proposed eliminates the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is a huge source of income for our nation’s libraries – $5.4 million in funding for PA libraries alone. Eliminating this funding will cripple not just our library, but libraries everywhere. So, if you have a moment, please read over the following information and call or email your representatives to tell them to oppose this unprecedented budget cut and help save our libraries! Please forward this when you’ve done your part – post it to Facebook, tweet it out and let everyone you know know that our libraries need our help!
FIND YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS:
The White House released the proposed budget that calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums.
Don’t know much about IMLS? Here’s a quick overview: through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state’s libraries and museums. In FY14 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $154,800,000.
In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for. In FY14 they awarded 594 grants (from 1,299 applications) totaling more than $54,700,000.
For Pennsylvania this represents $5.4 million. Those funds are used for a variety of programs and services including:
- POWER Library (online resources available to schools and public libraries)
- Summer Reading
- One Book Every Young Child
- SPARK (the Statewide Integrated Library System that serves more than 80 libraries across the Commonwealth)
- Continuing education programs for library staff and trustees
- Competitive grants for local projects
Funds also support the State Library and staffing at the Bureau of Library Development. Elimination of IMLS would severely compromise library service statewide and nationally.
Over the past three years ACLA and its Member Libraries (including Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh) have received funding through IMLS / LSTA for:
- Using Digital Storytelling to Connect Diverse Communities $21,167
- Wi-Fi Laptop Lending Pilot for Job Seekers $25,000
- Training and Tools for Adult Job Seekers $30,000
- eReaders & Devices $5,000
- Librarians as STEM Educators Program $73,955
Here’s how you can help right now:
- Use the sample messages in this form to contact the offices of your members of Congress (find your members in the link at the top of the page).
- Sign up via this web page to receive updates on the #SaveIMLS effort.
- Start planning how you and other library advocates will participate in National Library Legislative Day on May 2 in Washington D.C.
- Can’t make it to D.C.? Register for Virtual Library Legislative Day! You’ll receive talking points, access to email templates, and other resources to help you take action.
- Join and track the conversations #SaveIMLS, #LibrariesRespond.
- Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do take these actions, too!
Timing is key, ACT now!
Some additional information:
- Preliminary statement from ALA: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/03/president-s-budget-proposal-eliminate-federal-library-funding
- According to one analysis IMLS funding costs $.71 per American (http://time.com/money/4703511/budget-cuts-donald-trump-federal-agencies/ ).
- See article in PA Penn Live (March 17, 2017): http://www.pennlive.com/life/2017/03/trump_budget_libraries.html
- ALA position statement: http://www.districtdispatch.org/2017/03/presidents-budget-proposal-eliminate-federal-library-funding/
The Governor has released his preliminary budget. That budget includes level funding for the public library subsidy (State Aid) program. The Pennsylvania Library Association is advocating for an increase to restore funding to the 2010 level.
The current $54.47 million public library subsidy is the result of a $21 million (32%) cut in 2006. Meanwhile, inflation has reached almost 10% since 2010. PaLA position statement.
Contact your State Legislators (find them by using the link at the top of this page).
This new site is growing and we hope you grow with us! If you have any comments or suggestions, please drop us a line and let us know. If you don’t know who we are, we are an auxiliary group that supports the programming and funding needs of the Bridgeville Public Library. Everything we do is to make the library the best it can be for everyone who utilizes its vital services.
Some of our recent contributions include:
- Underwriting the cost of the summer science program for kids
- Purchasing sewing machines for children’s programs
- Purchasing environmentally friendly window film to prevent glare in the library and help with insulation
- Purchasing sit mats for the toddler story time program
- And much, much more.
If you’d like to join us, you’ll find our modest annual dues are less than a large pizza. Unlike a pizza, while great, your contribution will help nourish your library for an entire year, not just for one sitting. You can find our bylaws here.
Federal budget discussions have librarians and library supporters concerned, as the budgetary guillotine looms over the Institute of Museum and Library Services, known as IMLS. IMLS, which is celebrating its 20th year, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums.
By Marilyn Jenkins
Allegheny County Library Association
We are fortunate to have community libraries throughout Allegheny County which provide residents of all ages with valuable resources. Many of those who have not visited a library in the past decade or so, may wonder, “Why do we still need libraries?”
It’s been 25 years since Frank Lucchino, then Allegheny County Controller, issued a special report: “A Quiet Crisis: Libraries in Allegheny County.” This nearly 100-page report offered an in-depth discussion on the state of Allegheny County’s libraries and the problems each of the independent institutions faced. The dawn of the “Information Age” threatened to leave libraries behind. Funding was scarce. In fact, Allegheny County ranked at the bottom nationally for per capita dollars spent on libraries. Rooves were leaking, paint was peeling, and HVAC systems were failing.
The report concluded that Allegheny County’s libraries needed to identify a new stable source of operating support and establish a broad based organization to take advantage of potential economies of scale. Libraries accepted the call to action and banded together. Twenty-five years later, the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA), with the cooperation of its 46 Member Libraries, has met the challenges identified in “A Quiet Crisis” in ways that couldn’t have been imagined in the early ‘90s.
With strong (and LOUD) backing from County residents, library service was recognized as an essential community need. When State legislation created the Allegheny Regional Asset District (ARAD), libraries advocated for a piece of the 1% sales tax revenue. In fact, since 1995 the ARAD Board has awarded nearly one-third of its funds to support community libraries. That support has resulted in widespread facility renovations, increased service hours, expanded programming, and state-of-the-art technology tools.
In the early ‘90s it was considered revolutionary to connect libraries via re-built fax machines. Today, all 73 service locations across the County are connected through a 10Gbps fiber ring supporting 3,500 networked devices, a shared operating system, high-speed internet, and universal Wi-Fi. There is a centralized automated sorting system for movement of materials, self-check options, and access to downloadable books, videos and audios for all residents. ACLA libraries freely share their resources countywide across municipal boundaries.
ACLA libraries are at the epicenter of shifts in education and workforce development. Today you’ll find STEM programs, Maker space centers, media labs, tech clinics, parenting workshops, kindergarten readiness classes, coding workshops, self-publishing support, and countless other opportunities. Libraries help prepare students for first-time job success, assist job-seekers with resumes and placement, provide basic skills training and support small business development.
While it is important to celebrate the success during the last 25 years, ACLA and its Member Libraries will continue to face challenges as we move into the future. Constant changes in technology, pressure on the ARAD to fund a wider range of assets, the growing demands of residents for current information and new formats and the continued need to diversify library funding are just a few of the issues that remain. However, now libraries are building on the strong foundation of countywide cooperation that has been established.
I encourage everyone to stop by and experience what your local library has to offer. Whether you are looking for reading materials, children’s programs, job placement support, or even a place to get away, visit any local library or go to www.aclalibraries.org to find out more.
If you are looking to hit the dance floor to the beat of some Motown and Doo-Wop classics, then join us at 7 p.m., at the SNPJ Sunshine Room, 540 Third Ave., 15017, on March 4, to shake away the February blues with the Mansfield 5!
Tickets will be available January 15 at the library – 503 McMillen Street, 15017.
Price: $25/person or $40 per couple – Bring a Friend and Save!
All proceeds benefit the Bridgeville Public Library.
If you’ve never been to the SNPJ, here’s a map to help:
Starting in 2017, kids up to age 13 are automatically included as members of the Jr. Friends of the Bridgeville Public Library. Be sure to stop by get your free membership card after the first of the year! The cards feature 30 punch-outs on the back, which can be used for contests, keeping track of participation or whatever else sounds fun!
This membership class was approved by the Friends of BPL Board at its last members meeting this fall, so we are actively soliciting sponsors who would like to donate kids stuff for the program. So far, we have Sincerely Yogurt
on board, donating 12 gift certificates for free 8-oz. frozen yogurts, and the Bridgeville Taco Bell, donating gift certificates for combo meals! If you would like to donate to this cause, which serves to increase youth involvement and awareness of the library, contact Mark Berton.