NCH: "Ask Congress to Increase Funding for the Office of Museum Services"

Historians in the News

Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter in the House of Representatives encouraging Members of Congress to join their letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging $50 million for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). CLICK HERE to ask your Representative to sign the Tonko/Slaughter appropriation letter. Time is of the essence so please contact your Member of Congress no later than June 30.

The Tonko/Slaughter letter highlights the many educational and other vital services museums provide and asks the Appropriations Committee to support $50 million for FY10 (a $15 million increase over FY09) for OMS. These funds will help to protect collections nationwide and to help museums continue to meet the increasing demands for their unique programs and services.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary federal agency responsible for supporting the nation’s 17,500+ museums. Its Office of Museum Services awards grants to museums of all types for educational programming, technology upgrades, professional development, and preservation of treasured collections. The Office of Museum Services is funded through the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee.

Funding for the IMLS’ Office of Museum Services has been essentially flat for the past several fiscal years, despite increased attendance at museums, collections subject to increasing risk, and museum staff members needing professional development in conservation, education, and technology. The educational services museums provide are in greater demand than ever, and in this volatile economy, museums have taken an active role in providing critical social services in their communities.

Read entire article at Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH)

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