One of the most important things for any grad student to learn is how to advocate for his or her chosen profession. As an MLIS candidate I am calling on my blog readers to advocate for the profession today. US Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey, has put forth Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution. This amendment will zero out the funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS is a federally funded grant agency which provides money to libraries and museums throughout the United States to fund a variety of programs. For those of us who are students at University of South Carolina, it recently provided us a grant to give 7 doctoral candidates a fully funded 3-4 year program, including travel expenses for education and research. To view other grants that the IMLS has funded, head over to their website to search through the grants.
Libraries provide a number of services to the community. Never mind the thousands of books that they loan which promotes literacy of all ages, most libraries offer free Internet service to those who cannot afford to have the service at home. In addition, many libraries offer services such as those offered at Richland County Public Library here in Columbia. At Richland County, you can get help with creating or updating your resume, job training or retraining, and they even offer weekly interview practice for those who need help finding a new job. All for free. There is no payment required to get this kind of help, despite the fact that professional services may charge anywhere from $30 to upwards of $200 for a professional resume. For those who may be out of work, or struggling to make ends meet, that free help with resume services and job seeking is invaluable.
If you have a question, chances are, your local public library has the answer. If they don’t, make sure to ask your librarian, because he or she can get it for you. It might take them some time, but they’ll get you the answer, because that’s what they do.
Whether you are a library student, professional, or a friend or family member who simply reads this blog because you know me, please, tell your Representatives in the House and the Senate, that this amendment is unacceptable to you. Tell them that you know your local library provides a valuable service to your community, and you don’t want to risk losing that service due to lack of funding. You can call your representative at (202) 224-3121, or send an email using Capwiz but make sure you tell them how important this is to you, your family, and your community. I’ll be sending my email tonight, and I’ll be sure to post a copy of it here on my blog when I’m finished, because I want everyone to know how important I find this issue.