“No one else is, (going to advocate for library funding) ”
"...the people who use our libraries -- our faculty, our students, our publics ... need
to also own support for libraries.”
The "Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association,
used last week’s biennial national conference to give the roughly 3,500 in attendance a crash course in advocacy..."
Speaking of the current WH budget proposal to slash funding to libraries, “The scary thing is that
this could actually happen if no one does anything,” Keith Michael Fiels, executive director of the ALA, said. “Only a small band of brave individuals stand between this insanity and reality. Who are these brave heroes? They’re us.”
These quotes are taken from this link insidehighered.com, by Carl
Straumsheim, March 27, 2017 To read the entire article click here :
Neal, university librarian emeritus at Columbia University, said. “That’s our responsibility.”
“We need to be vocal as a library community at this time,” Neal said. 'Public libraries, school
libraries and higher education libraries are in this together, and therefore if we lose IMLS, we lose LSTA, we lose the literacy funding, that’s a statement about the future of libraries. We need to own that problem collectively now. We will do the hard
work in the trenches when we’re working on funding for research and funding for work study, but
now is the time to really represent the library community and the things we care about collectively.'”
That work began with postcards. Throughout the conference, attendees were encouraged to fill out postcards
reading “Libraries are a smart investment” in big, bold letters on the front and send them to their representatives. The postcards included a prewritten message on the back:
“Dear [blank]. I’m an academic librarian from the state of [blank]. I’m concerned by President Trump’s
budget proposal to eliminate all of the small but critical federal support for libraries and our users in every community in our state. Here’s why: [Blank]. Today, I am asking you to: [Blank].”
By the end of Thursday, the first full day of the conference, attendees had already filled out the
1,000 postcards that ACRL had provided, forcing a staffer to make a late-night FedEx run to print an additional 1,500.
But avoiding cuts to library funding will take more than postcards, speakers said.
“A bunch of librarians writing postcards to Washington is necessary, but it’s insufficient,” Neal said.
“It’s the people who use our libraries -- our faculty, our students, our publics -- who need to also own support for libraries.”
Here is the link to ALA's info for 2016 National Library Legislative Day, May 1 and 2.