Funding for Libraries Might Be Cut Soon, but That is not Stopping the ALA

How Libraries are Suiting Up for the Battle Against Budget Challenges

By IGI Global on May 7, 2019
According to a recent article in American Library Association’s American Libraries, the United States White House has released the information for the 2020 federal budget proposal with the recommendation to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides federal support to government-owned libraries and museums. The president of the ALA, Loida Garcia-Febo, released a statement soon after the budget information came out stating that, “as discouraging as it is that the administration has again proposed eliminating IMLS, the bipartisan support in Congress over the past two years gives us reason to hope.”

In honor of this year’s National Library Week “Take Action for Libraries,” the academic community is coming together to advocate for library funding by contacting their congressional representatives to support funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs. Through similar actions in 2018, libraries saw an increase in funding for IMLS and the reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Action.

The more signatures the ALA gets on these congressional calls for support, they posit, the more likely that funding will be restored. It is believed that if the public and those actively involved in the library community speak up and show how important it is for libraries to receive funding for new and increased materials, the more apt Congress and individual policy-makers are to move some of the budgetary funds back to the IMLS.

Prof. Barbara Costello (Stetson University, USA) reminds us that “currently, academic libraries of all sizes are struggling with space, budget, and staffing constraints…(and) budget constraints were the biggest challenges faced in maintaining a federal depository operation…” in her chapter “Academic Libraries in Partnership with the Government Publishing Office: A Changing Paradigm” which is found in the IGI Global publication Space and Organizational Considerations in Academic Library Partnerships and Collaborations.

Libraries are not immune to costs, as one might expect, but it is not all administrative cost. Instead, there is a great cost that accompanies new acquisitions of materials, new databases, and possibly even affiliations.

Due to monetary restrictions, “…there is a choice of handling a task with a home-built solution or using a product from a vendor. In some cases, the choice is clear cut. If the library is small with limited staff the answer is almost always to buy expertise…” says Mr. Edward Iglesias (Stephen F. Austin State University, USA), in his chapter “Insourcing and Outsourcing of Library Technology” in the publication Library Technology Funding, Planning, and Deployment. With an ever-shrinking budget, libraries are faced with difficult decisions, oftentimes having to choose between new, cutting-edge research acquisitions and paying administrative fees.

As a proud supporter of the library community for over 30 years, IGI Global would like to rally behind all of those who are supporting this advocacy and encourage our vast network of librarians, researchers, and editors/authors to contact their governmental representatives to support the funding of libraries. Through this action, we can ensure that these pinnacle institutions have the needed representation and resources.

“A primary responsibility of academic libraries includes supporting users’ access to resources and services…,” says Dr. Barbara Blummer, (Center for Computing Sciences, USA), and Dr. Jeffrey M. Kenton (Towson University, USA) found in the chapter “Access and Accessibility of Academic Libraries’ Electronic Resources and Services: Identifying Themes in the Literature From 2000 to the Present,” found in the publication Library Science and Administration: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. As funding is decreased, so too will the access to resources and services only libraries can provide, something that calls into question how research and continuing education will grow and serve the population in the future.

Please find below relevant resources focused on library funding, resources, administration, and related topics. These chapters are all featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Books:

All this research is part of IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Database, which consists of InfoSci®-Books, a database of over 5,300+ reference books containing over 100,000+ chapters on emerging research, and InfoSci®-Journals, a database of over 25,000+ peer-reviewed articles and 1,000,000+ citation references sourced from over 185+ scholarly journals.

Featuring IGI Global’s robust collection of edited and authored reference books, handbooks of research, critical explorations, case books, and research insights, IGI Global's InfoSci®-Books database is being offered with an annual subscription (2000-2020) as low as US$ 9,450 US$ 7,088* (one-time perpetual purchase for current copyright year (2020) offered as low as US$ 20,500 US$ 15,375**). This database ensures that librarians can affordably acquire emerging research for their institutions.

IGI Global's InfoSci-Journals database is being offered with an annual subscription (2000-2020) as low as US$ 5,350 US$ 4,013* (one-time perpetual purchase for the current volume year (2020) offered as low as US$ 5,450 US$ 4,088**). This database contains peer-reviewed resources that have been featured in prestigious indices including Web of Science, Scopus, and more.

    Additionally, when a library invests in IGI Global's InfoSci®-Books and/or InfoSci-Journals databases, IGI Global will match the library’s investment with a fund of equal value to go toward subsidizing the OA article processing charges (APCs) for their students, faculty, and staff at that institution when their work is submitted and accepted under OA into an IGI Global journal.***

Purchase or recommend InfoSci-Books or InfoSci-Journals to your librarian.
To keep abreast of the ever-evolving knowledge in this topic area, IGI Global continues to publish and support research in ASD assistive technologies, medical advancements, educational practices, and related topics. Find below a selection of titles to enhance further understanding of this trending field:

Additionally, for researchers, all of the chapters/articles featured in these publications are available for purchase through IGI Global’s OnDemand feature for as low as US$ 30.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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