In January of 2015, the state of Indiana proposed a 24% budget reduction for the Indiana State Library, including 1.3 million dollars cut from Indiana’s virtual library, INSPIRE(1), in addition to cuts to the State Library’s Genealogy department and Public Library Standards & Certification (HB 1001).
According to a post by IU East’s library, this budget reduction will eliminate the INSPIRE program(2). As Hoosiers, we are used to seeing our government cut important services (while boasting about our two billion dollar surplus). However, INSPIRE provides access to quality information for all Hoosiers so it is particularly concerning to see this program come on the budgetary chopping block. INSPIRE is described as a “cost saving tool for 237 public libraries, 45 academic libraries, over 1 million K-12 students, homeschoolers, hospitals, and all Hoosiers”(3).
In 2014 alone, there were over 125 million searches in the INSPIRE database. This is not an obsolete program that is suffering from disuse. It is vital to many Hoosiers and libraries and importantly – it is something that students can access from any computer in Indiana, providing them with quality information sources for school reports and projects that can’t be found using a Google search.
From the IU East post,
“So what can we do? The proposed budget will come before the Indiana House of Representatives, and they can reinstate funding for INSPIRE. Contacting your representative, especially if he or she is on the Ways and Means committee, is a great strategy. The chair of the House Ways and Means committee is Timothy Brown, who can be contacted by mail at 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.”
Rep. Brown’s email address: email@example.com
Please consider contacting your Representative and urging them to support reinstating funds for the State Library and the INSPIRE program.
Representatives on the Ways and Means committee: https://iga.in.gov/legisla…/…/committees/ways_and_means_2200
Find your legislator: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/
(1) INSPIRE, http://www.in.gov/library/inspire/faq.html
(2) Indiana University East, Library blog, http://iue.edu/blogs/library/
(3)Indiana Library Federation, https://c.ymcdn.com/…/Legi…/Impact_of_State_Library_Budg.pdf