Secretary Wyman “thrilled” that proposed U.S. House budget continues funding libraries

In Congress, a key House budget committee has voted to recommend a proposed federal budget in which the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is funded at the same level as in the prior year’s budget. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who oversees the Washington State Library and the nationally recognized Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, says she’s thrilled by the news.

“IMLS is the backbone of library systems all across the country, and gutting it – as the president’s proposed budget would do – is shortsighted,” Wyman said. “Thankfully, through the efforts of all the members of our state’s congressional delegation, particularly Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, who serves on the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee, the proposal recommended late last week by the committee included level funding for both IMLS and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Photo by Morf Morford

Photo by Morf Morford

“So many of the Washington State Library’s programs and staff positions are made possible through LSTA funding provided by IMLS. LSTA funds the Ask-WA 24/7 reference service and the software used to provide the Ask a Librarian service, statewide databases, two e-book and audiobook consortiums, staff training and development, grants, resources and services provided to local community libraries, nonfiction books for school libraries, training for teacher-librarians, library trustee training, STEM training kits for local libraries, as well as Washington’s prison library system,” Wyman added.

“I will be keeping a close eye on this issue as it develops and this budget proposal moves through the process, but for now we will consider this news a win for Washington’s libraries.”

- State of Washington