Library Services are on the Chopping Block!

LSTA – Library Services and Technology Assistant Grants

IMLS – Institute for Museum and Library Services

The most recent budget proposal by President Trump cuts all funding for LSTA and IMLS funding nationwide.

In 2015-16 Pennsylvania received $5.4 million in LSTA funding.  What does LSTA/IMLS funding do in Pennsylvania? According to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Lancaster County receives a total of $108,000 in direct and indirect funding from LSTA funds. Library services funded are: early childhood education, school-age services, adult services, summer reading, professional development for librarians, training for board members, and online access to rare collections. Without LSTA, there will be no special collections, programs, workshops, or classes in your library!

Even worse is a less publicized part of the proposed budget cuts that would hurt Lancaster County libraries even more. E-Rate is a program that supplies communication platforms to libraries and schools at a deep discount.  Pennsylvania receives over $4 Million in E-Rate funding. Lancaster County receives a subsidy of $153,642 for broadband and internet services. In 2016, an additional $22,000 was granted for essential hardware needs. Without E-Rate, there will be no internet access in your library!

IMLS grants are used primarily for library staff professional development. The opportunity to network and collaborate among each other is crucial for the dissemination of best practices. Technology is constantly evolving so it is necessary that library staff keep ahead of the transitions, not just keep up. IMLS workshops and webinars provide this opportunity for staff learning in order to teach the public.

What can you do?

Get Informed! Advocate for your library by talking to your friends and neighbors. Rally support with a common concern. This is a threat to our basic education and life-long learning, which are at the core of our American values. Practice your rights as a voting constituent.  The official you elected represents you! Tell them how you want their vote to count on these issues.

Contact Senator Robert Casey

Contact Representative Pat Toomey