Dear Katherine et al,

    Crafting those messages (which we should always have to hand) are of supreme importance. They should certainly speak to cultural heritage supporters (not just preaching to the choir but building stronger bonds between us) but also well beyond to as much of society as will listen. The difference this time, I think, is that rather than just being seen as irrelevant and dispensable by those with the purse strings, educational and cultural institutions may well be seen as the enemy. This means our letters and statements have to engender lots of public support and build a network far beyond ourselves. I fear just writing the Congressional folks is not enough. Despite letters, etc., if any of those targeted agencies remain I will be truly surprised and overjoyed. Nevertheless, building strong public support will be essential for going forward in the future when our cultural support infrastructure needs to be replaced. Sorry for being glum here, but I think this is the most perilous time I have seen in my career.



Dr. Helen R. Tibbo, Alumni Distinguished Professor &

   Society of American Archivists, President 2010-2011 and Fellow

School of Information and Library Science

211 Manning Hall, CB# 3360

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360

Tel: 1+ 919 418 4557

Fax: 1+ 919 962 8071

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From: The NDSA organization list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Katherine Skinner
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 2:02 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [NDSA-ALL] Statement on US Administration Budget Proposal by DLF leadership


Concentrated citizen action IS the way forward in this moment, and I agree wholeheartedly with Liza (and George and Bethany): the messages we use will have to speak to citizens well beyond our fields.


It would be wonderful to galvanize a network in this moment that can articulate clearly and with unified voices that libraries, archives, and museums are NOT luxuries for the privileged; they are vital to the health and success of our nation and our world. 


Bethany, thank you as always for being such an articulate, thoughtful, thought-provoking and community-minded force in our field. As a citizen, I welcome others in NC who want to "caucus for mutual support" (to quote Liza's lovely statement) to let me know. 


All my best,


Katherine Skinner, PhD

Executive Director, Educopia Institute


Working from Greensboro, NC

[log in to unmask] | 404 783 2534




On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 1:24 PM, Liza Loop <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear Bethany,


I will respond to your request for citizen action from here in Northern California. You are not alone!


In addition, may I suggest that it's time to compose some messages to conservatives and military hawks to explain, in language meaningful to them, exactly how these budget cuts will impact programs they value. We need to go beyond "preaching to the choir" and encourage our opposition to think more strategically, systematically and deeply. This action may require research into funding that supports conservative scholarship as well as local and religious history. 


Any colleagues in my geographical region who would like to caucus for mutual support, please feel free to contact me.




Liza Loop

History of Computing in Learning and Education (HCLE) Project.
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On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 8:44 AM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Thank you for this strong statement. It is a wonderful call to action. I'm acting. 



Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 16, 2017, at 11:19 AM, Bethany Nowviskie <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear friends,

Last night, the Trump administration released its new budget blueprint, an advisory document that proposes increases in spending to military programs and national security, coupled with major decreases to—or the complete elimination of—many programs supporting scientific data and research, human health, and environmental safety; social uplift, education, and protection for the poor; international diplomacy, cooperation, and aid; and the arts, culture, history, and museum and library services. The House and Senate will now begin offering their own budget resolutions, and a long process of negotiation—informed by the will of the people, as expressed to our elected representatives—will ultimately result in Appropriations committee legislation setting funding levels for 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.”

These include—among many others—agencies and offices whose federal budgets the Trump administration proposes to eliminate entirely: the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which supports NPR and PBS), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the US Institute of Peace, the Appalachian Regional Commission—and of course the IMLS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLS not only supports academic library and information science R&D programs that contribute to the development of a coherent and utterly necessary national digital platform; it also supports public programming and education in our nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums—themselves vulnerable to future budget cuts. Future reductions may also be proposed to the budgets of the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and other federally-funded keepers of records, culture, and national memory.

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. 

Last month, in a national climate of growing division and rising fear, the DLF and its parent organization, CLIR, offered a statement outlining our community’s enduring values and our own “Deepening Resolve.” I spend my every day in awe of the imagination, drive, compassion, and expertise of DLF practitioners. I know the people who make up our working groups and who staff our member institutions are resolute in their understanding of the power of digital libraries to serve—as we put it in the statement—”individuals and institutions that are both stalwart and vulnerable, people living now and generations yet to come.” 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 [log in to unmask]" target="_blank">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.

—Bethany (writing quickly and alone; Team CLIR/DLF and DLF Advisory Committee endorsements, additions, or productive dissent may yet come)

This statement is posted online:  


Bethany Nowviskie

Director of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) at CLIR

Research Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, UVa | | | | she/her/hers 







Liza Loop
History of Computing in Learning and Education (HCLE) Project.
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