[March 17, 2017] The President's 2018 Budget Blueprint to Congress proposed eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS is the federal agency that administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which provides critical funding to the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services. Since the release of the federal budget proposal, the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) has received a number of questions regarding how the elimination of LSTA funding would impact Rhode Island libraries.
LSTA funding administered by the IMLS has a substantial role in enabling OLIS to provide services and support to Rhode Island's libraries; elimination of this funding would thus substantially impact Rhode Island libraries. OLIS is funded by the State of Rhode Island and LSTA funds. In federal fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015- Sept. 30, 2016), the last year for which full data is available, the State provided 52.52% ($1,184,669) of OLIS' operating budget while the IMLS provided 47.48% ($1,070,842). In addition, the State of Rhode Island provided $11.4 million in direct aid to Rhode Island cities and towns for library services, which are administered by OLIS.
|Federal LSTA Funds (through IMLS)||$1,070,842|
|OLIS Total Operating Budget 2016 (federal fiscal year)||$2,255,511|
|Grant-in-aid to Cities and Towns, Public Library Services||$7,698,411|
|Grant-in-aid to Institutional Libraries||$62,609|
|Statewide Reference Resource Center (AskRI)*||$1,012,378|
|Public Library Construction Reimbursement||$2,663,600|
|Total State Aid to Libraries (state fiscal year)||$11,436,998|
LSTA funding supports statewide programs provided to libraries and Rhode Islanders by OLIS, along with the personnel who coordinate those programs. Most programs are a mix of federal and state funds, with some programs funded predominately by the state (state aid, AskRI, LORI delivery) while others are funded primarily with federal funds (Talking Books Plus, summer reading, youth services). All programs offered by OLIS would be impacted by any reduction in LSTA funding, though some to a greater extent than others.