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ARL Statement on FY 2021 Budget Cuts to Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries opposes FY 2021 budget cuts to US libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services

On February 10, 2020, President Trump released a budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2021 with cuts to eliminate federal library programs and defund the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Association of Research Libraries strongly opposes the proposal to defund the primary source of federal funding for the nation’s libraries and museums.

IMLS provides grants to research libraries that are pivotal in recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders. This is more urgent than ever given the central role of research libraries at a time of exponential change in scholarship and learning powered by data, machine learning, and other emerging technologies, and given dramatically changing demographics of student and faculty populations at higher education institutions.

Research libraries work collectively and with critical partners in scholarly communications to increase access to publicly funded information, and to develop the requisite knowledge infrastructure for accelerating research. IMLS is one of the very few funding sources for libraries to scale tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used, adapted, or replicated across the country. At a time when research libraries must align with the research and learning policies of our institutions and our federal agencies, IMLS is a critical source of funding our commitment to building the workforce of the future.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.