February 13, 2020
Trump administration tries to stop funding libraries … again
by Andréa Córdova
One of the biggest threats to education in the United States is the current presidential administration. There was much coverage on how ill-suited Betsy DeVos is as the United States Secretary of Education. So in disappointing yet unsurprising news, Trump is calling for the permanent end of the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and along with it, all accompanying federal funding to libraries across the country.
This isn’t his first attempt at this—it is his fourth. Andrew Albanese reports for Publishers Weekly that IMLS has confirmed that The White House wants to shut the agency down and requests $23 million in funding for the closure. This is viewed as a budget cut from the U.S.’s staggering and ever growing debt. Despite the administration going after libraries for three consistent years, they have been able to fight back against the attempts. The timing on the most recent bid seems suspect—PW reports that the bid comes “just weeks after the library community publicly praised the Trump administration’s pick of Kansas City’s Public Library executive director R. Crosby Kemper III to be the next IMLS director.”
Thanks to the library community’s strong grassroots efforts, they’ve been able to stave off The White House’s political decision to shut them down. And now more than ever, they are holding their ground. We’re hoping fourth time’s a charm in fighting this but the best way to help is to support your local libraries.
Andréa Córdova is a publicist at Melville House.