From the Friends: Celebrate National Library Week as Budget Proposes Eliminating Federal Funding

Posted Mar 28, 2017

First held in 1958, National Library Week is an observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate. "Libraries Transform" is the theme of National Library Week in 2017, but here at Shorewood we are also celebrating National Poetry Month, so have taken the theme "Ode to Libraries."

With the release of President Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget in March, the message of National Library Week is more important than ever. The Trump administration's proposed budget would cut federal-level funding for public libraries, via eliminating the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Library Services and Technology Act. For Shorewood patrons, this would mean no inter-library loans from outside the Milwaukee County Federated Library System and no state-operated Badgerlink which hosts most of our electronic databases, among other impacts to patron education resources, technology, and learning opportunities for library staff to continue to bring high-level services to the community. 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the only federal source of funding for libraries the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. IMLS, which received $230 million in 2016 - roughly 0.00006 percent of the national budget for 2016. Its mission is to support libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, its grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.

Shorewood Public Library, like many libraries, engages patrons and delivers programs that enhance our community. This year, National Library Week: Ode to Libraries focuses on fun, accessible ways for all ages to enjoy poetry:

  • Picture Poetry (for kids) on Wednesday, April 12, from 2"30 to 4 p.m. in the library program room. Kids will learn how artists combine words and poetry, then write or collage short poems to accompany a photograph, illustration or their own drawings.
  • Poetry Reading on Thursday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Village Center. Poets of all ages and experience are invited to read their own work or the writing of those that inspire them. Featured guest poets will be Kimberly Blaeser, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Matt Cook, Milwaukee Poet Laureate and Kavon Cortez Jones, local poet.
  • Poetry displays and activities throughout the week.

The Friends of Shorewood Public Library hope you will join us - and we hope you will be inspired to turn your passion for, interest in, or love of the library into advocacy. Share your story with your elected officials, to make a difference in the future of libraries. The American Library Association has information on how, when and why you can voice support for IMLS and federal funding of libraries. To learn more about funding issues facing libraries in the United States, sign up for advocacy alerts, background information, and talking points about library issues at the American Library Association Action Center

-Submitted by Anne O'Meara

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