Tag: Public Libraries

Trump’s Budget Plans Threaten Library Cut

To book readers everywhere, libraries are important. They provide a pressure-free environment for people to enjoy books and literature that isn’t present anywhere else. Sadly, however, libraries are under attack. For the fourth time during his presidency, Trump and his administration want to get rid of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  This choice is part of Trump’s 2021 budget that will push more funding towards military defense and NASA while cutting funds for social programs like Medicare, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the IMLS.

 

These cuts directly impact communities that revolve around their public spaces and social programs. In places like Cambria Heights in Queens, New York, this cut would remove the public library that serves as an educational space for the children who attended the nearby school.

Thankfully, Trump’s plans have not come to fruition. This is mainly because of pushback from library supporters and book readers alike. In the past three years, funding for libraries and the IMLS has actually continued to rise. This is quite exciting, but we can’t let people forget that libraries are an important part of every community. Like the president of the American Library Association (ALA), Wanda Brown, stated, libraries serve everyone in the community. “[The elimination of] federal funding for libraries [will eliminate] opportunities to serve veterans, upskill underemployed Americans, start and grow small businesses, teach our kids to read, and give greater access to people with print disabilities in our communities.”

 

Libraries are a necessity for the public and should be treated as such by the government. The ALA stresses that supporters of libraries and library services should email or contact their congressional representatives to ensure the future of libraries across the country. And don’t forget to visit your local library, check out some books, and enjoy the services provided.

Featured Image via ABC News

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9 Great Ways to Support Your Local Library

Don’t we all just adore public libraries? The old buildings, the selection, the smell of aging books. It’s a deeply comforting environment, and then when you leave, you can take books with you! They’re warm in the winter, they’re just about everywhere, and they’re full of possibilities. What can we do to give back a little?

 

Check Out Books

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Image via Mother Nature Network

And really, how can you help yourself? I walk into the library thinking I’ll just take a look around, but I always leave with more books than I can carry. If it’s bad weather or you don’t feel like going outside, you can get ebooks and audiobooks online from many library systems. It lets the government know people use the libraries, which helps them get funding!

 

Go To Events

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Image via London Library

Libraries have all kinds of events. Reading days, movie nights, classes and workshops. Want to watch an old horror movie, or learn excel, or meet an author? Check your library’s calendar of events and go to anything that seems interesting. Plus, it’ll make you cool! See above for how it helps.

 

Ask Questions

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Image via UCLA

Need a particular book or a book on a particular topic? You can also just ASK a librarian about upcoming events. Library use and attendance effect library funding, but so does engagement like asking questions. As long as it’s not too busy, ask for info or where a section or book is. Again, they take note of this to prove people use libraries.

 

Ask for Library Funding

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Image via New York Public Library

I can’t find an example, but I swear sometimes, when you go into your library, there are forms and petitions you can sign or fill out and mail or give to the librarians, saying libraries are useful and important, to show they’re needed and necessary. Ask your librarian if you don’t see anything! You can also do stuff like this yourself, but you know, if you’re there.

 

Spread the Word

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Image via Quote Fancy

So true story, I got (lightly) bullied in highschool for reading LIBRARY books in the hallway, like that something for OLD people, but I still rep the library whenever I can. I find it especially ridiculous when people want to buy ebooks they don’t even know if they’ll like! I mean, buy books, but support the library too! Tell your friends.

 

Start a Book Club

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Image via Houston Public Library

This is also something that get stereotyped as not for cool kids, but what’s cooler than sharing books you love with your friends and then all talking about it, and learning their favorites? It’s cool stuff, it’s a great way to get exposure to new books and new genres you may never read otherwise. Plus, you can all check out the books, and maybe even meet at the library!

 

Volunteer

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Image via Reading Public Library

It seems obvious, but libraries always need volunteers! If you’ve got anything like time, fill out an application to volunteer, or go in person and ask what you can do. Some libraries also need teachers to run internet and literacy classes, or even just to read aloud to kids. But there’s lots to be done! If you have actual real life skills, you can probably put them to use.

 

Buy Library Merch

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Image via Brooklyn Public Library

Book nerd, but make it fashion. Okay, this photo has shirts, but there’s lots of stuff you can get from library stores! Totes, magnets, whatever you can think of, and all library themed! I get into trouble in museum stores, but library stores? Please. You’re going to have to DRAG me away. Not every library has a store, but most systems have them, so look it up ahead of time.

 

Buy Books

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Image via Events Time

Libraries also sell books sometimes! These are either old library copies which have been replaced or rendered obsolete, or they’re books people have donated, most of which aren’t really suitable for adding to the catalog, for whatever reason. But you can buy them! And the money supports the library. You can also donate to these kinds of sales.

 

Donate

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Image via Phoenix Public Library

Obviously, if you can, just actually donating helps a great deal. You can become a contributing member with a regular donation, or just give once. If you’re going to do the latter, wait until someone’s matching (many companies and organizations do this) so that your donation is used to the absolute best effect, no matter what you can actually give.

 

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Featured image via Smithsonian Magazine