Just saw John’s request about legislative priorities.
I have one that I would live to see: increased support for IMLS [Institute for Museum.and Library Services]. It’s a small but vital part of the federal budget.
IMLS has been on the chopping block every year that Trump has been in office. Congress takes out the zero but the funding hasn’t kept up with costs.
And the need is huge! Especially now, in the library world. Local budgets cut, which means fewer early literacy services, decreased service for the blind/visually impaired* and homebound, less access to public computers for those without access at home <the digital divide is real and immense>, lack of programming budgets,, and much lower quality of life in many small towns as well as inner cities. Libraries are still hugely relevant!
That’s not even looking at infrastructure issues ~ many libraries and museums have major building issues: capacity, ability to adapt to modern technology, and lack of maintenance.
Disclaimer: I am a librarian at a state library, so we both directly fund programs and distribute funds to other libraries on the state. My position is state funded, except for some in-state travel that supports local library development.
I can go on at great length if any of the front pagers wants to write on the topic ~ it’s an area where a lit bit of public press might do a fair bit of good.
*The National Library Service [NLS] is the primary funder in 49 states for services to the blind, visually impaired, and those with physical issues [stroke, Parkinson’s] that make holding/using a book or tablet difficult. Amazing program with no cost to the patron.
Thanks for submitting your essay! (WG)