DATE: January 26, 2014
Federal Library Funding FY2014
Last week, President Barack Obama signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September 2014. The legislation includes $226,860,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) -- roughly $7 million more than the FY2013 budget, partially restoring the funding cuts that were made as a part of sequestration. The appropriation is about $1 million more than the IMLS FY2014 request.
The total amount appropriated for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) increased from $175,044,000 in FY2013 to $180,909,000 for FY2014. The total for the Office of Museum Services is $30.1 million, a $900,000 increase from the post-sequestration FY2013 total.
In Massachusetts, federal funding from IMLS to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) supports many statewide initiatives, services, and programs that impact every resident of the Commonwealth. Library Services and Technology Act funding from IMLS pays for statewide databases, summer reading, the virtual catalog, preservation and disaster recovery in cultural institutions, the consumer web portal, direct grants to libraries, and grants to support small library participation in one of the nine automated networks that make efficient automated library services affordable. Federal funding is also currently supporting the Massachusetts eBook pilot project.
In recent years, budget reductions to IMLS have caused a cut in federal funding to the MBLC's exemplary LSTA program. Since 2010, federal LSTA funding from IMLS to Massachusetts has been cut by more than $300,000. Due to the cuts, the MBLC scaled back the number of direct grants offered to libraries. Statewide databases that give residents 24/7 access to reliable online information were also cut back.
"With state funding to libraries at 1990s levels, federal funding is vital to library services in Massachusetts," Cindy Roach, Head of Library Advisory, Development and Government Liaison at the MBLC, said. The MBLC will learn its total appropriation from IMLS late February.
To learn more about the ways in which the MBLC uses federal IMLS funding to support local library services, please visit the agency's website.
Funding amounts by IMLS program can be found here.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. IMLS's mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.