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Trump’s budget proposal calls for elimination of library funding

In the US, the Trump administration has argued for the elimination of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities (NEA and NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in its 2019 budget proposal, reports Publishers Weekly.

In its targeting of library and arts funding, the proposed budget echoes the Trump administration’s proposal from the last financial year, which the US house of representatives rejected in September 2017.

Federal library funding, including the IMLS budget, is currently around $231m(A$293.6m) annually. The NEA and NEH each have annual budgets of around $145m (A$184.3m).

The Trump budget claims that library and arts funding is not a ‘core’ federal responsibility, adding that ‘it is unlikely the elimination of IMLS would result in the closure of a significant number of libraries and museums’.

American Library Association (ALA) president Jim Neal said in a statement, ‘The administration’s FY2019 budget is out of touch with the real needs of Americans and the priorities of leaders in Congress who represent them. The president miscalculates the value of more than 120,000 libraries across America, just as he did in his FY2018 budget proposal’. ‘ALA members will continue to highlight the value of libraries to our elected leaders in every US congressional district. And we are confident that our congressional leaders will continue to protect the federal programs that invest in our communities.’

 

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