Go to:
Online Doc
Meeting Request
Jean Doolittle's picture

Trump Budget

Here is the email discussion started on March 22, 2017 by Joseph Egan about the effects of the possible budget coming out of Washington.  Please feel free to join it with additional comments or supporting materials.  

Dear committee and round table members:

ALA Executive Board member Andrew Pace has compiled some brief notes about ALA's advocacy plan to save our libraries and our library services from the cuts and the elimination of some vital federal ibrary programs in President Trump's proposed budget.  I am sharing these notes with you with his permission.

"ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination is central to our mission. We will continue to speak out and support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.

“We will continue to speak out and support our members as they work tirelessly for access to library and information resources on behalf of all of their community members, while advocating for privacy, intellectual freedom, critical global research, information literacy, ongoing access to scientific research, and fair and equitable treatment for everyone."

ALA, January 30, 2017


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andrew Pace andrewkpace@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 2:22 PM
Subject: FW: Trump budget

Dear Liaisons!
I've participated this week in 2 calls with ALA leadership, Division leaders, and ALA Affiliates. Below are the notes I took regarding actions around the Trump budget. President Todaro will be sending out much more detailed notes, but I thought you all might appreciate my version (it's actually a little shorter!)

ALA Leadership and the ALA Washington Office held conference calls with elected Division leaders, Division Executive Directors, ALA Affiliates, and ALA Executive Board Members to lay out the broad strokes of a plan to combat the proposed budget sent to Congress by the Trump administration. I participated in both of these calls, Friday, March 17 and Monday, March 20. Here are a few notes.

Trump has submitted what's referred to as a "skinny budget." It is light on specificity. In some instances, there's clarity of the cuts (e.g. IMLS); in others, large cuts are proposed to certain areas (e.g., Education) but it's unclear if the cuts would impact libraries (e.g., ESSA).

Emily Sheketoff described this as losing a battle in what is going to be a very long war. But ALA has every expectation of some success. In an effort to not spread itself too thinly, ALA has decided to focus on two areas where libraries are the sole stakeholder in ensuring victory. ALA and libraries are the only organizations standing up for school libraries and for LSTA. ALA will funnel its activities to these two areas, namely by focusing on funding for Innovative Approaches to Literacy and the IMLS.

Every budget cycle, ALA coordinates the drafting of a "Dear Appropriator" letter. They start with key supporters in the House and Senate and then get as many signatories as they can, basically saying "We the undersigned want this area funded in the budget." So far, ALA has Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) in the House, and Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate; they expect many more to sign on. The goal is an overwhelming list of signatories.

Here's a timeline of how things play out:

  • President submits his budget to Congress (March)
  • Dear Appropriator letters sent to House Appropriations Committee (April 3)
  • Dear Appropriator letters sent to Senate Appropriations Committee (late April)
  • Congressional recess week of April 10 and April 17, with a goal to get as many members of the House and Senate into libraries as possible to see the work of libraries first hand.
  • Continuing Resolution to fund the Govt ends in April. Congress will have to vote to extend the CR or the Government will shut down
  • Library Legislative Day (May 1-2): a literal measure of success for this campaign is Hill offices calling the ALA WO and asking them to tell members to stop calling
  • Congressional Appropriation Hearings for the rest of the year
  • Meetings on the Budget subcommittee
  • Budget goes to the floor of the House
  • Conference Committee between House and Senate

According to the Washington Office, the best chances for ensuring budgets for IMLS and Innovative Approaches to Literacy are early on. After the budget goes to the HHS Labor sub-committee, there's little chance of making changes for or against a budget request. 

The Washington Office will be publishing a detailed calendar of events very soon. This site has a lot of information already: http://www.districtdispatch.org/2017/03/presidents-budget-proposal-eliminate-federal-library-funding/

 Some activities already planned:

  • ACRL will be doing a postcard campaign at the meeting this month.
  • Cengage Learning is reaching out to the library business community to promote Dear Appropriator letters; Exhibits Round Table is helping get the word out to vendors.
  • IMLS is already pulling data together to show money spent and impact in libraries
Jean Doolittle's picture

Thanks Joe for keeping us informed in these bleak times!

Rosina Alaimo

Jean Doolittle's picture

good statement - thanks for sharing... As I prepare for ACRL I am remiss in not studying the NYT carefully


Jean Doolittle's picture


Hi all.  For those who haven’t seen the news yet, here are the details on the proposed federal budget blueprint, which would completely eliminate the Institute for Museum and Library Services as well as other grant programs that support libraries and research.  I’ll keep you posted on ALA’s response as this unfolds.

 Martin Garnar IFRT Councilor

 From: alacoun-request@lists.ala.org [mailto:alacoun-request@lists.ala.orgOn Behalf Of Aaron W. Dobbs

Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:13 AM
To: ALA Council List alacoun@lists.ala.org>
Subject: [alacoun] First Trump Budget Blueprint

 President Trump's budget blueprint has been widely reported in Washington Post, NY Times, The Hill, etc. Here is an unofficial copy--attached. Also, now officially on the White House site:


This is bad news (worse than I expected) for us, it proposes the elimination of IMLS along with NEA, NEH, CPB, and an array of other programs as well as the previously reported large cuts across much of the executive branch. 

We (ALA, membership and staff) need to prioritize and promote what we do around the importance of libraries and library services to local communities. There are so many issues that fit into this frame that we must partner with related organizations on those issues which intersect with our concerns -- and lead on issues where we are the logical (or only) voice on a particular topic. 

We should continue our work toward maintaining access to the table(s) where issues important to libraries and our communities are debated and decided. We should continue to build/maintain our relationships with people that have access to the discussions who are willing to serve as our champions.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to subscribe to the District Dispatch blog: 

Visit the ALA Advocacy page for more about Advocacy, Legislation & Issues:

Sign up for the ALA Legislative Action Center:

Trump Budget Blueprint pdf2.79 MB
Jean Doolittle's picture

I echo Martin’s message.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to subscribe to the District Dispatch blog: 

Visit the ALA Advocacy page for more about Advocacy, Legislation & Issues:

Sign up for the ALA Legislative Action Center:

Ma’lis Wendt

Jean Doolittle's picture

As promised, here is your update...so far today:

1. We released the brief paragraph this a.m. The brief statement was posted to all all-media outlet for press releases BUT we added one paragraph on IMLS to be more specific.

2. W.O. is scheduling phone calls with business partners and stakeholder advocates today and I will update you all as these begin/continue.

3. W.O. is analyzing for the deepest and broadest look at federal funding and libraries to get specificity for our many members and partners. The point here being that others in the list of proposed eliminated or reduced funding have library projects as well such as NEH, NEA, DOE to name just a few. We will distribute the larger list of proposed cuts as quickly as we can so that members and stakeholders can choose from among a number of projects when contacting lawmakers.

4. Because the larger analysis of cuts is NOT yet complete (a massive job) we have a new blog posting up with a "to do" list. 


5.We have two phone calls (identical format) scheduled to discuss how ALA leaders will work with members to distribute our content. I will distribute those notes as quickly as possible after the calls. On the calls will be many Council members and the list includes:

ALA Board Members
ALA Division President's
ALA Affiliate Presidents
ALA ED's Divisions, Offices, etc.
Candidates running for ALA President
New ALA Board members who won but who have not yet taken office
ALA Media

Although I have already invited input from many, the minutes from the phone calls will include a list of approaches we are taking and actions taken as we move aggressively and quickly.

Thanks to Council members who have already sent me information on what is happening in states. I will post a master list of these actions as well as we move along.


Dr. Julie Beth Todaro
2016-2017 President
American Library Association
Dean, Library Services
Austin Community College

Virginia Moore's picture

It was a joy to join the ACTION.

Ginny Moore

This is my first time to try and I hope it works.

Jean Doolittle's picture

Thanks for joining in!