UPDATE Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the American Library Association’s Washington Office, comments on the budget request in the District Dispatch post, “Federal library funding cut in proposed budget”.
Here’s some background about the $226,448,000 portion of the budget request for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Today the President released his FY 2015 Budget Request to the U.S. Congress. The budget includes $226,448,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
“I am proud of the contributions that IMLS makes to the American people,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth.” I firmly believe that there is a federal responsibility to ensure all Americans have access to the best programming and services that our libraries and museums can provide. During fiscal year 2015, IMLS will help advance a range of museum and library services, with a special focus on STEM learning, early learning, and expanding access to federal information through libraries.”
IMLS grant programs support library services in every state and territory through a population-based formula grant. The agency also administers competitive grant programs for libraries and museums that engage hundreds of library, museum, education, and technology professionals in a rigorous peer review process to identify well-designed projects. IMLS supports projects that strengthen library and museum services for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, as well as projects that strengthen African American museums.
IMLS will focus funding on its strategic goals that include the following:
Learning: Placing the learner at the center by supporting engaging learning experiences that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society
Community: Promoting libraries and museums as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality
Content: Supporting exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promoting the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage
Within the requested amount and within existing programs, IMLS will focus on three strategic areas in the FY 2015 budget: science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning; early childhood learning; and expanding access to federal information through libraries.
Museums, Libraries and STEM Learning
Libraries and museums are crucial to building skills through STEM learning for children and young adults. Libraries and museums are community technology hubs where out-of-school STEM learning efforts include development of “maker spaces,” where teens and adults can creatively apply STEM concepts to create their own inventions; hosting community science fairs, and STEM-focused exhibits and public programs. In FY 2015 we will continue our funding priority for projects that develop new programming models to teach STEM skills to at-risk youth.
Museums, Libraries, and Early Learning
Libraries and museums are fundamental to early childhood learning. IMLS has long supported the testing, development, and delivery of quality, impactful programming for young children as well as their caregivers, parents, and child care workers. In FY 2015 we will incorporate libraries and museums into comprehensive early learning strategies at the national, state, and local levels.
Civic Literacy Network
Millions of citizens use local libraries to access a wide variety of government services and many federal agencies turn to libraries as part of their information distribution networks. However, this effort is currently a patchwork of portals and outreach strategies that are difficult for library staff to navigate. In FY 2015, IMLS will work with other federal agencies to help them reach the public through libraries.
Read the Complete Statement From IMLS