The American Indian Library Association (AILA) is calling on all tribal librarians, archivists, community members, and the public to share stories to help us fight for continued federal funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
On March 16, 2017, President Donald Trump released his Budget Blueprint for 2018, also known as the “America First” budget. This proposed budget eliminates funding for IMLS, a federal agency that provides critical support for Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian libraries across the country.
Funding for Native American libraries and information services has been a long struggle for those committed to the development of libraries in Indian Country.
Our communities stand to lose millions in federal support for childhood literacy, language revitalization, digital infrastructure, college and vocational prep, job-seeking support, and so much more. In some cases, IMLS provides the only consistent source of library funding.
In a very real way, the defunding of IMLS could mean the loss of tribal libraries.
Please help AILA gather stories from tribal librarians, library workers, patrons, and community members. We are seeking short stories from your communities to demonstrate the role tribal libraries play in supporting culture, community, and education.
The best stories talk about how IMLS and tribal libraries have made an impact on people in your community. Does your library provide summer reading programs that inspires kids? Does your library provide programs that connect community members with their culture or language? Is your library a space for building relationships, bringing together elders and youth? Does having access to computers and the internet at the library make a difference for you and your community? How so? Tell us your tribal library story––and make it personal!
We will share these stories to a wider audience in an effort to reach out to representatives, to build a movement to protect tribal libraries, and to ensure that future generations benefit from IMLS funding. We are looking to highlight stories that not only show the economic benefits that libraries provide to their communities, but also share how children, elders, and the wider community benefit from them.
We are looking to publish over web forums and social media, so we are asking that these stories be between 200-400 words.
Please submit your stories to this online form: http://bit.ly/2nCcP4k
The American Indian Library Association’s Save Tribal Library Funding Campaign