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At TechSoup, our work is never solitary. We benefit from the resources, brainpower, and strength of organizations and individuals to help us support NGOs and public libraries worldwide. Our relationships boost our impact far beyond what we might have achieved alone.
We were introduced to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through our common interest in libraries. The IMLS is an agency of the federal government that funds programs, innovative projects, and technology to fuel our nation's libraries. The IMLS also provides a very key resource to TechSoup: data.
The IMLS makes much of its data free and available on its data portal. Here at TechSoup, we've been using IMLS data for over a decade to validate that a library is in fact a library. You see, when an organization comes to TechSoup.org seeking technology products, it must verify that it fits our philanthropic criteria.
In order to say, "Yep, you are indeed a library!", we require a set of information that our data partner — the IMLS — provides. Without this crucial assistance, TechSoup couldn't have
By participating in the TechSoup donation program, 9,521 public libraries have accomplished a lot. They've provided access to computers, to the Internet, to productivity software, to children's software, to Wi-Fi hotspots that patrons can use at home, to laptops they can check out, and to so much more.
Perhaps more importantly, these savings allow libraries to focus on helping community members find their next job or start a small business. They enable libraries to help people learn how to read or learn computer coding, or join a book club or attend a story time.
You may have never heard of the IMLS before now, but I'm certain you have benefited from its impact. In the US, 169 million people visit a library each year, and there's a good chance you or someone you know was one of them. For 21 years, the IMLS has been an important supporter of the nations' 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, but now its future is at risk.
The current administration's 2018 budget proposal does not include funding for the IMLS, and legions of individuals and institutions are coming forward to save the IMLS. We invite you to do the same.
To learn more about how you can support the IMLS as it continues to make libraries vital and strong community anchors in every corner of our nation, please check out #saveIMLS online and learn how you can fight for libraries.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.