UPDATE: We’ve added comments from ALA at the bottom of this post.
Today the President released his FY 2016 Budget Request to the U.S. Congress. The budget includes $237,427,957 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). With these funds, IMLS will provide leadership for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums in all fifty states and U.S. territories through grant making, policy development, and research.
[We’ve also embedded the documents below]
The President requests a $9.6 million increase over the FY 2015 enacted level, of which $8.8 million supports a national digital platform, which will be funded through the IMLS National Leadership Grant programs for Libraries ($5.3 million) and Museums ($3.5 million). The agency will focus the additional resources on promoting development of new standards for continuing education for library and museum professionals.
Within the requested amount and within existing programs, IMLS will focus on two strategic areas in the FY 2016 budget.
- National Digital Platform for Library and Museum Services: IMLS promotes the use of technology to expand access to the holdings of museums, libraries, and archives. IMLS will increase its support for expanding access by funding the national digital platform and in particular, state and regional service hubs that help libraries, museums, and archives with digital content and services. The work gives more Americans free and electronic access to resources of libraries, archives, and museums.
- Continuing Education for Library and Museum Professionals: Libraries, museums, and archives play essential roles in ensuring access to information for everyone. IMLS will emphasize skills-based learning through programs that support professional and 21st-century skill development. IMLS will fund efforts to create a Maker Framework for museums and libraries and identify ways to encourage makerspaces in museums and libraries. IMLS will also support the professional education of librarians and museum professionals.
Comments from American Library Association
President Barack Obama today transmitted to Congress the Obama Administration’s nearly $4 trillion budget request to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2016, which starts October 1, 2015. The President’s budget reflected many of the ideas and proposals outlined in his January 20th State of the Union speech.
Highlights for the library community include $186.5 million in assistance to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). This important program provides funding to states through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
“We applaud the President for recognizing the tremendous contributions libraries make to our communities, ” said American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young in a statement. “The American Library Association appreciates the importance of federal support for library services around the country, and we look forward to working with the Congress as they draft a budget for the nation.
“The biggest news for the library community is the announcement of $8.8 million funding for a national digital platform for library and museum services, which will give more Americans free and electronic access to the resources of libraries, archives, and museums by promoting the use of technology to expand access to the holdings of museums, libraries, and archives. Funding for this new program will be funded through the IMLS National Leadership Grant programs for Libraries ($5.3 million) and Museums ($3.5 million).