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Proposed Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Libraries

Kenosha Public Library is fully supported by local tax dollars, right?
Actually, your local tax dollars only partially support KPL. A significant source of support for technology, training, and services comes to KPL through the Wisconsin Department of Instruction, Division of Libraries. Federal dollars from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) support the services we receive from our state library.

IMLS is slated for elimination in the first draft of the proposed 2017-2018 Federal Budget.


So how  do federal funds specifically support KPL?

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides
Wisconsin with just under $3 million annually to provide all of the services below and assist schools and public libraries to meet the needs of the state’s citizens. Elimination of IMLS will impact the following services to libraries and their communities:


  • Public library broadband and technology services

  • Badgerlink databases and statewide catalog access

  • Statewide collection of ebooks (Overdrive)

  • State Library Agency Activities (65% of total staffing)

  • WISCAT/Interlibrary Loan system management Note: Interlibrary Loan service is required by state statute

  • Wisconsin Document Depository Program/Digital Archives system management

  • Online WISELearn educational digital repository used by teachers and parents

  • Legal consultation to public libraries and public library systems on issues like municipal relations, personnel management and training, and statutory requirements of library systems and local libraries

  • Literacy support for families with young children, school age students, and young adults

  • Inclusive services for library patrons of all ages

  • Data collection and use including statutorily-required public library and library system annual reports

  • Continuing education for library staff including training new library directors

  • The Governor’s Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND)

  • Grants to local libraries and library systems ($815,450 in 2016). Examples of grants to KPL:

  • Kenosha Connects kits, providing computers, internet access,  and training to economically disadvantaged households.
  • Computer Coding Camps for Kids, training the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.

  • Developmental Kits for preschoolers to prepare young children for reading and learning.


Loss of IMLS will dramatically affect Kenosha Public Library’s ability to provide outstanding collections, technology, and training to our community. Without federal support for state library functions, KPL will be forced to use local dollars for Internet access at market rates. Access to ebook collections and electronic databases will cost us significantly more.


Show your  support for KPL and public libraries across Wisconsin by contacting your congressman.  Call or email your representatives and senators – you can find them here:


Tell Them:

Hello, my name is ____________________.  As a voter and as a supporter of public libraries, I’m calling to ask the Senator/Representative to oppose the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which the White House budget is proposing to do.  Libraries help our nation’s children, students, and adults from all walks of life  succeed in school and prepare for college careers and life.  Without libraries, our nation will not have a trained workforce or productive citizens.  Libraries depend on funding from IMLS in order to provide the services and resources students and adults depend on for learning, especially those from low-income families. Please take action to ensure that IMLS is not eliminated and gets the funding it needs to help our nation’s people.  Through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state’s libraries and museums.  In FY14 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $154,800,000 which was shared among our nation’s 16,500 public libraries. [IF YOU LIKE, SHARE A BRIEF EXAMPLE OF HOW KPL HELPS your Community – kids, teens, adults].

Thank you for your time.