RECOMMENDED: Statement on US Administration Budget Proposal by DLF Leadership

Bethany Nowviskie (Digital Library Federation) has written a post on the new federal budget blueprint, published both on the Digital Library Federation site and her personal website. Nowviskie opens by describing the many agencies and offices “germane to the goals of the Digital Library Federation and its mission to ‘advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good'” whose funding levels face dire cuts or elimination under the budget proposal. She then explains why it is vitally important for information professionals to advocate on behalf of organizations such as National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the US Institute of Peace, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services:

Program officers and staff of public service organizations like these are prohibited by the federal Hatch Act of 1939 from engaging in some forms of political activity, thus curtailing their ability to advocate fully for the agencies to which they have devoted so much, while serving as agency representatives. The DLF community must represent them, and—in our support for the myriad ways these agencies serve us—we raise our voices to represent the communities and publics we serve together. 

The statement goes on to emphasize the goals and mission of the DLF, and closes with reminders of the DLF’s existing efforts and a call to action:

The DLF community strives to build usable, welcoming, and respectful knowledge representation systems that embody “our shared, core values of enlightened liberalism and scientific understanding,” help us understand the past and imagine better futures, and advance “our mission to create just, equitable, and sustained global cultures of accessible information.”

These are lofty goals. Like all things, they start in the local, the embodied, the world near to you.

Regardless of your party affiliation or political creed (and in the understanding that diversity of thought is among our community’s great strengths)—if you share my concern about aspects of the current administration’s budget proposal and vision for libraries, research data, and cultural heritage in the digital age, I urge you to contact your representatives and make your views known. Finally, I remind you that the DLF has very consciously redoubled its efforts to function as a flexible, pragmatic, and supportive framework for grassroots efforts of all kinds, relevant to our field. DLF members and non-members alike are invited to use us as a platform for effective community organizing. We are here for you, and for the futures you want to build.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Leigh Bonds, Camille Cooper, Lydia Herring-Harrington, Veronica Ikeshoji-Orlati, Christina Kamposiori, Heather Martin, Susan Powelson, Shilpa Rele, (Editors-at-large for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb (Editor for the week), and Caro Pinto, Roxanne Shirazi, and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).