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Save South Carolina Library Funding

South Carolina’s only federal funds for libraries are at risk. Tell Congress to save library funding for all South Carolina libraries.

Save South Carolina Library Funding

South Carolina’s only federal funds for libraries are at risk. Tell Congress to save library funding for all South Carolina libraries.

President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would have devastating effects on libraries in South Carolina, according to the South Carolina Library Association. The budget would eliminate funding for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides funding to state libraries. South Carolina currently receives $2.5 million in funding per year from IMLS, which is used to support:

  • The entire Talking Book Services program which provides audio and large print books for the blind and visually impaired and assistive technology devices to support library users with additional needs
  • Statewide access to online research databases, career and job seeking resources, and homework support programs
  • Digitization projects that support local history and cultural programs
  • Summer reading supplies and programs for children across the state

Under the proposed federal budget cut, South Carolina, along with other states, would lose funding that is used for foundational library services.

South Carolina State Library Director Leesa M. Aiken says, "Federal funds are vital to the services that libraries in South Carolina provide to their communities. The South Carolina State Library uses federal funds for many worthy projects that touch people in every walk of life – from children to veterans to job seekers and many more. Loss of federal funds would decimate our ability to provide needed services to South Carolinians.“

Examples of library programs supported by IMLS in South Carolina include:

  • Discus, South Carolina’s Virtual Library – used heavily by the K-12 community with more than 54 million hits last year.
  • Literacy 2030 – used by engage literacy service providers to help increase the literacy rate across the state.
  • StoryFest SC (now in its sixth year) – a literacy event that brings two nationally renowned children’s authors or illustrators to the state. Children who attend StoryFest receive two books, one book for each author/illustrator; often the authors sign the books.
  • StudySC – supports in-depth study of SC history and geared for 3rd and 8th graders, their families, and educators.
  • GrandFamily Resource Centers – a public library program that provides resources, personal support, and related programs to help grandparents and the children they are raising.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid – a class designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and others on how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge, or is in crisis.

“Without IMLS funding, South Carolina’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,” says Amber Conger, president of the South Carolina Library Association. “IMLS funds help bridge the digital divide for so many library patrons. Our libraries and our communities depend on continued support and funding from IMLS. The IMLS programs benefit every South Carolinian, including rural and urban residents, children, senior citizens, students, jobseekers, and the average adult. The loss of this federal funding would be devastating to local public libraries and school libraries. It will have a negative and noticeable impact at the community level.”

Please help the South Carolina Library Association and EveryLibrary keep up the pressure on Congress to preserve and safeguard IMLS funding for all South Carolina libraries. Please make your voice heard and contact your Representative and Senators using the petition on the right hand side of the page.
Your opinion matters about libraries in South Carolina, and your support for IMLS funding in state will help secure the future of libraries across our country, too.

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