Jul 21st, 2003
The Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, DC actually had a budget increase this year. Surprise! Does anyone else wonder how federal policies towards state-wide library issues would change if DC weren?t it?s own separate governmental district, but part of a state? I?ll bet that state library wouldn?t have a budget shortage.
At any rate, a new set of grants from the IMLS are aiming to help Native American Libraries thrive and grow. I have visited and worked in many such Libraries in the Southwest and can testify that these sorts of funds are much needed.
Having seen some of the issues in these Native communities more than the average person from the ?dominant culture? (a perfect phrase I learned on these Native American Access to Technology Program trips), I can say that there are also other issues in these locations that also need cash flow very badly. Librarians less than average, but most people with an Internet connection would be very shocked to see some of the situations people on ?the rez? have been made to live in.
Given my experiences with Native American communities and Libraries, I guess the main point of this post is that it seems utterly ridiculous to me that any organization serving a dire need or priceless service to their community has to scramble at all for funding. It mystifies me why folks like this don?t already have the monies they deserve. Unfortunately, many of the neediest communities and libraries aren?t connected or organized enough to go through such a process. (It’s why I plug WebJunction and ALA and the other sites mentioned on this site and is also part of why I post to the blog in the first place.)
Having expressed dismay, the things IMLS does are generally quite admirable. If you want to see what IMLS has done in your state, check this link. If you don?t know their work already, you might be surprised.