Save Funding For Mississippi Libraries
Help us save funding for Mississippi Libraries. We need you to join us today and send an email to your representatives.
Cuts proposed in President Trump’s 2018 federal budget would have devastating effects on libraries in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Library Commission officials and analysts. The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides funding to state libraries. Mississippi currently receives $1.8 million in funding per year from IMLS, which is used to support:
- Mississippi Talking Book Services
- Statewide interlibrary loan
- Cataloging software for all public libraries
- Continuing education opportunities, including an intensive in-residence training for paraprofessional librarians
- Technology services for public libraries, including network and technical support and assistance with E-rate
- Federal subgrants to support critical library programming
Under the proposed federal budget cuts, Mississippi, along with other states, would lose funding that is used for foundational library services.
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"Public libraries in Mississippi have recently been faced with a devastating decrease in state funding. The loss of federal funds will be catastrophic for the future of Mississippi’s public libraries,” stated Susan Cassagne, Executive Director of the Mississippi Library Commission. “Library patrons will experience severe cutbacks in services. Programs that are critical to the mostly rural residents of our state will have to be evaluated and some hard choices will have to be made."
Examples of programs across Mississippi that are supported by IMLS funding include:
- Autism Resource Centers that offer resources and assistance to children with autism and their parents, including therapy tools that can be taken home or used in the library
- Excel By 5 program, a community-based certification program designed to improve a child's overall well-being by age five, provides children with the tools they need to prepare for kindergarten
- Increased summer reading programs in rural areas by offering off-site locations providing programs, activities and books to participants
- Replacing obsolete library computer equipment to better serve patrons who have no access to computers or internet at home
- Creating a Teen Technology Center to provide an inviting, safe place for teens to gather and study after school featuring new laptop computers in a teen-friend environment
- Offering Brainfuse, an online, digital tutoring service to enhance educational offerings for patrons
- Offering a senior adult basic computer skills class to include basic word processing, internet searching and computer maintenance
Jenniffer Stephenson, Mississippi Library Association President., puts it quite well: “Without IMLS and funding through LSTA, Mississippi’s libraries would not be able to provide the needed level of library and information services that our citizens and communities have come to expect and appreciate. LSTA funds help bridge the digital divide for so many library patrons, provide critical training and continuing education opportunities for library staff, and encourage life-long learning for all age groups. Our libraries and our communities depend on continued support and funding from IMLS.”
Please help the Mississippi Library Association and EveryLibrary keep up the pressure on Congress to preserve and safeguard IMLS funding for all Mississippi libraries. Please make your voice heard and contact your Representative and Senators using the form on the right hand side of the page. Your opinion matters about libraries in Mississippi, and your support for IMLS funding in state will help secure the future of libraries across our country, too.
Defunding the IMLS shows a fundamental lack of awareness or care for the essential services libraries provide and requires all Americans to fight this shameless attack. We are working to mobilize the millions of library patrons and supporters across our state to stop this from becoming a reality. We ask you to take the first step by sending an email today.
This state-wide campaign made possible by Gale, a Cengage company
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