Federal Budget Cuts

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Update on Federal Budget Cuts

Many NJLA members are concerned about the impact of the budget proposal announced yesterday by the White House.  The President's proposal calls for the elimination of the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).  While we all should be very concerned about this development it is important to note that we are at the beginning of the federal budget process.  In the coming weeks we will also see budget proposals from both the House and Senate.  Now is the time to make sure library staff, patrons and trustees understand the value of the LSTA program brings to NJ.

IMLS details NJ's funding at this link.

ALA's press release regarding the President's proposal may be found at this link.

The NJLA Executive Board is working with the Public Policy Committee in developing targeted messaging for NJ advocates to use in contacting their Congressional representatives.  It is important to understand that this will be a campaign of several phases lasting at least throughout the spring.  Now is a good time to start making sure you understand why this funding is so important and to call your local Congressional representative to let them know that this budget proposal will have a very serious negative impact on NJ's libraries.  Specifically, NJ uses LSTA to fund the Talking Book and Braille Center, statewide databases, JerseyConnect and literacy.  Without federal funds to support these programs, ALL state-provided services in NJ are at risk.  We will be developing specific talking points and targeting our advocacy at appropriate points throughout this process.  Library advocacy groups like Everylibrary and ALA will also be working on this.  Every effort helps.  NJLA will make sure all of our members are aware of the potential impact of the loss of LSTA funds throughout the state and give you the tools you will need to communicate your concerns to your legislative representatives.  For now a short phone call indicating your concerns to your Congressperson is a good start.

Library Legislative Day (May 1-2) will be even more important this year.  If you are able to join us in Washington DC please register for this event as soon as you can. (also see below)

Tell Congress to Invest in New Jersey Libraries! http://cqrcengage.com/alanj/home