I came into work this morning expecting a quiet day when I saw an email with the subject line “NEH.” What I read made me cringe. It appears the House Budget committee, headed by former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, has submitted a budget that eliminates both NEH and IMLS. Granted this is the first salvo in the budget battle but it is concerning. AHA has written about NEH and ALA President Barbara Stripling has written about IMLS.
Both NEH and IMLS have supported archives programs through grants. Most recently IMLS provided funding in support of the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program which provides financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. IMLS also supported A*CENSUS, the first study of the archival universe and its needs.
The House Budget Committee believes that NEA, NEH and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting should rely on funds from private-sector patrons. The Committee also believes that supporting museums and libraries is not a core federal function and should be funded by state and local government as well as with support from the private sector.
It is so frustrating that it seems every year we must fight to insure that we have the funding to provide support to repositories around the country that are working to save our documentary heritage. SAA has put an action alert and I encourage you to contact your member of Congress and ask them to support IMLS and NEH and encourage funding for both of these agencies.
If you want to read the House Budget report you can find it here.
Also, just a reminder to keep an eye out for budget news on NHPRC. We will be asking for support to keep it fully funded as well.
And finally, a gentle non-partisan reminder. This year the entire House of Representative and 1/3rd of the Senate are up for election. If you have not registered to vote do so today and vote during the upcoming November election. Also encourage your family and friends to do the same.