The time is NOW! If you care about your local libraries, Ohio members of Congress need to hear from you TODAY!
At least $210 million in federal library funding is on the budget-cutter’s chopping block. Libraries need your help to save that funding and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the agency that distributes most of those funds to every state in the country. Please call or email TODAY and tell them to save federal funding for libraries and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Congressman Sherrod Brown:
Washington, DC: (202) 224-2315
Ohio Toll Free: 1-888-896-OHIO (6446) or Cleveland: (216) 522-7272
Congressman Rob Portman:
Washington, DC: 202-224-3353
Cleveland office: 216-522-7095
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (representative 11th district):
Washington, DC: (202) 225-7032
Cuyahoga County office: (216) 522-4900
Tips on telephoning:
- Remember that telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member, not the member of Congress. Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment.
- After identifying yourself, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message: such as: “Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I want him/her to save federal library funding and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.”
- You will also want to state reasons for your support or opposition to the bill. Ask for your senators’ or representative’s position on the bill.
Below are details about the potential impact of the cuts on Ohio libraries:
To read the State Library of Ohio’s statement regarding potential cuts to federal funding, click here.
The State Library of Ohio receives a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) appropriation of approximately $5 million per year. If these LSTA dollars were no longer available in Ohio, the negative impact would be far-reaching and the following programs and services would be curtailed or significantly reduced:
- EBSCO databases would disappear (or would have to be funded at the local level). The lack of LSTA funding to support the library databases jointly provided by the State Library, OPLIN, OhioLINK, and INFOhio would jeopardize the partnership and could potentially lead to elimination of the statewide availability of these resources, which include medical journals, business and career resources, and resources for children grades K-12, just to name a few.
- Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled services supported by the State Library would be curtailed.
- Public libraries would not receive summer reading materials and summer reading workshops would no longer be subsidized.
- Ohio Digital Library, serving the patrons of 177 public libraries across the state, would no longer receive support from the State Library; member libraries would be required to pay a portion of the yearly software maintenance ($125,000).
- Data available through the Public Library Survey would be minimal.
- Consulting services, such as strategic planning, space design, and youth services would be significantly reduced or eliminated.
- State Library support for WebJunction would end and library staff would no longer have access to Skillsoft courses.
- Competitive grants to support innovative initiatives in areas including Data Management and Analytics, Outreach and Partnerships, and STEM/STEAM, would no longer exist.
- The SEO Library Center would no longer be partially supported with federal funding, requiring the elimination of some services such as Technology Training on Demand.
- Continuation of services would require increased financial support from SEO member libraries. Leadership programs such as Library Leadership Ohio and ILEAD USA-Ohio would be eliminated.
- The process of establishing the Ohio Digital Network as a service hub for the Digital Public Library of America would be significantly delayed or terminated.
- Plans to use LSTA funds to support the Guiding Ohio Online digital literacy program once the grant funding from Serve Ohio ends in FY 2018 would be eliminated.
The loss of this critical funding would come at a time when state funding for Ohio’s libraries lacks the stability it needs to ensure that our libraries remain able to innovate, adapt quickly to local needs, and develop programs and services that enable all members of their communities to thrive.