Trump’s 2020 Budget Proposal Could Defund Libraries

By March 18, 2019 Libraries, News

Earlier this month, the White House released President Trump’s proposed 2020 fiscal year budget, entailed ‘A Budget for a Better America’. Coming in to the tune of $4.75 trillion, it’s actually the largest budget proposed in US history and, if enacted, will see a steep decline in domestic and social programs in favour of military spending.

For the third year in a row, Trump’s budget has proposed the permanent closure of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which serves as an independent federal agency, providing library and museum grants, policy development, and research. The elimination of the IMLS would end any and all federal funding of public libraries and would also cut funding to the Department of Education by 10%, which would include support for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program.

Despite promising protection for social programs throughout his 2016 campaign, the 2020 budget proposal would see deep cuts for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. While these areas would see cuts, the Department of Defense’s budget would see a $34 billion increase, including $8.6 billion for Trump’s infamous wall.

Though Trump’s administration has pushed for federal funded libraries, there has been bipartisan support in Congress for the IMLS over the past two years’ budget debates. The American Library Association (ALA), president Loida Garcia-Febo said in a statement that Congressional support provides hope. “Elected decision-makers, including appropriators in both the House and Senate, agree that funding IMLS programs such as the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is a sound investment and that to cut funding for libraries is to undercut opportunity for their constituents,” she said.

With help from the ALA, and library community advocacy, funding for libraries has remained level over the past two years. Garcia-Febo has stated that the ALA will continue to fight to protect libraries in the face of Trump’s cuts in funding. “ALA members will continue to highlight the value of libraries to our elected leaders in every U.S. congressional district,” she said “We are confident that the 116th Congress will support the federal programs that invest in our communities.”

If you wish to learn more about the ALA’s #FundLibraries campaign, or want to contact your members of Congress, you can do so here.

John Oliver’s Marlon Bundo Named One of 2018’s Most Controversial Books

By | Children's Literature, Libraries, News | No Comments
In 2018, Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President was released. It was a children’s book written by the Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter, Charlotte Pence, and illustrated by her mother, Second Lady Karen Pence. The story follows the Pence’s real life bunny Marlon Bundo as he spends the day following the Vice President on his duties. In response to Mike Pence’s LGBT attitude, the writers behind the show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver decided to put out their own children’s book about the First Bunny, one that was inclusive to all sexual orientations.

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500-Year-Old Book Catalogue Sheds Light on Thousands of Lost Books

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The Libro de los Epítomes manuscript is over 2,000 pages,  more than a foot thick, and contains summaries of the books kept in the the library of Hernando Colón, who was the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus. Colón spent his life working to create the largest library in the world  during the early part of the 16th century. The library once hosted over 15,000 books, and was constructed during Colón’s travels. Only a quarter of the collection survives to this day and the books are now stored in Seville Cathedral. However, thanks to the discover of this manuscript, we have a fresh look at the literature of the 16th century.

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English Pubs to be Given Funding to Run Post Offices and Libraries

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They say that the pub is the hub of the community in the UK, especially in rural places and now the UK government has announced that seventy-six pubs across England will become ‘Pub is the Hub’ pubs, offering local services such as Post Office and Libraries.

The government will share £188,000 of funding through the Pub is the Hub project to help rural pubs diversify their offerings and help bring communities together by expanding their services beyond food and drink. Rural pubs are particularly threatened with fourteen pubs closing every week, and with austerity always at the forefront, libraries and community services are also under threat.
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British Library Consider Additional Location in Leeds

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The British Library is considering opening a second facility in Leeds, alongside existing plans to expand its reading rooms in the area. The library has discussed potential locations for a new building with the local authority according to information obtained by the Guardian in a freedom of information request.

With Leeds working towards its £35 million celebration of Leeds in 2023 in the wake of the city’s collapsed bid to be 2023 European Capital of Culture, the plans could not have come at a better time. The proposal includes a six year programme, currently underway, that will culminate in a year long celebration of culture in 2023.
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New York Public Library to Open its First Permanent Exhibition Thanks to Polonsky Foundation

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After a $12 million gift from Dr. Leonard Polonsky CBE and the Polonsky Foundation, the New York Public Library is to open its first permanent exhibition in 2020. The exhibition will feature rotating items from the NYPL’s extensive research collections and it’s fantastic news for those who would like to see these collections.

The Polonsky Exhibition of the New York Public Library’s Treasures is expected to open in late 2020 at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The free exhibition will be housed in Gottesman Hall, a 6,400 square-foot exhibition space on the Library’s main floor.
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