Why Support Your Local Library? [infographic]
The Louisiana budget signed by Governor Bobby Jindal on June 15 eliminates almost $1 million in state aid to libraries, according to The Advocate. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said Jindal excluded the $896,000 when he presented his proposed spending plan, and legislators failed to find funding for libraries during the regular session.
Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian of Louisiana, told LJ, “The State Aid to Public Libraries program was eliminated from this year’s budget. This money was given directly out to the public libraries on a base grant and per capita basis. They used the money for technology and collections.”
INFOGRAPHIC: U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm
Unglue.it works by allowing the rights holders of an already-published book to set a funding threshold—generally between $5,000 to $25,000—and a deadline for a funding campaign. If supporters pledge sufficient funding prior to the campaign deadline, the book will be released as an “unglued” ebook edition, free of digital rights management (DRM) software, and free to copy and share under a Creative Commons license.
If I understand correctly, it’s basically Kickstarter for converting books into DRM-free ebooks.
The battle over public access to federally financed research is heating up again. The basic question is this: When taxpayers help pay for scholarly research, should those taxpayers get to see the results in the form of free access to the resulting journal articles?
In Congress, meanwhile, U.S. Reps. Darrell E. Issa, a Republican of California, and Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat of New York, introduced the Research Works Act (HR 3699) last month. The bill would forbid federal agencies to do anything that would result in the sharing of privately published research—even if that research is done with the help of taxpayer dollars—unless the publisher of the work agrees first. That would spell the end of policies such as the National Institutes of Health’s public-access mandate, which requires that the results of federally supported research be made publicly available via its PubMed Central database within 12 months of publication.
Welcome to Salem’s Library Grants Center, a free web tool designed to help librarians everywhere—whatever their level of experience—navigate the world of library grants.
At a time when the word “library” is inseparable from the phrase “budget cuts,” librarians need help finding help. So we scoured the web in search of free funding for libraries and discovered that the options extend far beyond national and state opportunities. Hundreds of grants are available to libraries of all types from local foundations, family trusts, small and large corporations, professional organizations, and the publishing community.
Numerous web resources on grants already exist online. But most are general in scope. Those specific to libraries usually target a type of grant (e.g., professional association grants) or type of library (e.g., libraries in public schools). Our goal was to design a universal tool whose sole focus is library grants but with coverage that includes every type of funding available.
What concerns me about all these talks is that we have just entered a period in which library funding has been savaged, in large part because we have no proof that what we do is of any use. Of course librarians know that what we do is worthwhile, but just because we say it is won’t convince anyone with money (and neither should it). We as a profession have had an extended dropping-the-ball session when it comes to research. Most other professions can point to a body of quantitative evidence that shows what they do gets countable results and is therefore worth funding. We cannot. Whether that is a fair way to evaluate libraries really doesn’t matter. It is the way funding decisions are made and we should have adapted to the environment. Instead we rested on the assumption that everyone knows libraries are intrinsically brilliant and then one day we wake up and they’ve taken the money away.