For Immediate Release
Co-chair, Communications & Media Committee
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association
APALA releases statement opposing proposed cuts to IMLS
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) staunchly stands against the proposed elimination of the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the Trump administration’s 2018 budget blueprint. IMLS is a core funding source for hundreds of libraries around the country and supports the library and museum professions in advancing the values of a democratic society. Without IMLS, many projects that support our members and our organizations would not have been possible.
Here is a very brief list of examples of programs and services that IMLS funding supports and impacts our members directly:
- Spectrum Scholarship Program: The American Library Association’s program to increase the number of racially and ethnically diverse professionals in library and information science.
- Joint Conference of Librarians of Color: A partnership of five ethnic caucuses of the American Library Association (American Indian Library Association, Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Chinese American Librarians Association, and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking) that advocates for and promotes diversity and supports literacy and the preservation of history and cultural heritage of communities of color. http://jclc-conference.org/index.html
- Native Hawaiian Library Services Grants: This grant program provides funds to non-profit organizations and libraries who work directly with Native Hawaiian communities to provide accessible culture-based literacy opportunities. In 2016, IMLS awarded three grants totalling over $400,000 in support and in 2015 awarded four grants totalling over $500,000. The scope of grants awarded ranged from preservation to early literacy opportunities to providing digital libraries geared towards and at the Native Hawaiian community. https://www.imls.gov/grants/available/native-hawaiian-library-services
More programs and services that are sustained through IMLS grant funding are listed in their Awarded Grants Database: https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded-grants
APALA is committed to “advancing social justice and providing opportunities for dialogue and networking to promote the needs of Asian/Pacific American [APA] professionals and those who serve APA communities.” As an organizational affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), APALA joins ALA in expressing its deep concern for this proposed cut. Libraries are the embodiment of the democratic ideals of access to information, diversity, intellectual freedom, the public good, service, and social responsibility. We need federal funds to continue support for the work that libraries do to improve our communities.
Founded in 1980, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to APALA are tax deductible and support our work for library services, programs, scholarships, awards, and grants related to library services benefiting Asian/Pacific Americans and Asian/Pacific American librarians.