Even as librarians were again girding for a tough budget battle, the budget that passed today has them feeling a bit more optimistic.
Early today, the House and Senate passed, and President Trump signed, a much-anticipated budget bill for the U.S. federal government. While librarians arrived in Denver for the ALA Midwinter Meeting, their mood shifted dramatically from earlier in the week.
“In a message to members on Monday, the ALA Washington Office told librarians and library supporters that the Trump administration, as it did in its FY2018 budget proposal, was again expected to target library and arts funding,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. He tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally that Kevin Maher, ALA’s Deputy Director, Office of Government Relations, had written, “We expect the budget to include draconian cuts to library, education and other non-defense discretionary spending. In fact, we believe the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is likely to be proposed to be eliminated outright. The White House’s FY2019 budget is expected to propose even worse cuts than his previous proposal.”
However, says Albanese, “even as librarians were again girding for a tough budget battle, the budget that passed today has them feeling a bit more optimistic. Presumably, a two-year budget deal which adds some $300 billion to the federal budget will be able to find – and perhaps even add to – the roughly $236 million requested for library funding.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.