The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) provides a collaborative foundation within the community for all Prince Georgians to create the world they want to see. Community members have an important role to play in championing the essential services and programs that the PGCMLS provides to enhance life in Prince George’s County. Together, the Library, Board of Library Trustees, PGCMLS Foundation, friends groups, and customers shape the future of PGCMLS by sharing stories, strengthening relationships with partners, and celebrating the transformational work the Library carries out each day.
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PGCMLS believes that every story deserves to be told, and each reader should be trusted to make their own decisions about what to read.
The American Library Association (ALA) reported more than 729 attempted bans of 1,597 individual books in 2021 alone, with numbers rising in 2022. Yet, more than half of all voters in the US oppose efforts to remove banned books from public libraries. According to a 2022 survey of voters across America:
Books broaden readers' perspectives. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship divides communities and creates barriers. Book bans deny readers the opportunity to expand their horizons and encounter new perspectives.
Books are tools for understanding complex issues. When books are banned from libraries and schools, students cannot access critical information to help them understand themselves and the world around them. Parents lose the opportunity to engage in teachable moments with their kids, and communities lose the opportunity to learn and build mutual understanding. Limiting young people's access to books does not protect them from life's complex and challenging issues.
Books give readers and families the feedom of choice. Reading opens doors to new ideas and experiences. Each reader should be trusted to make their own decisions about what to read. Librarians and educators are trained to make all kinds of knowledge and ideas available so that people have the freedom to choose what to read. These professionals respect the rights of parents to decide which book their children are exposed to, and work closely with parents to help them decide the best books for their children.
The FY23 federal budget proposal from President Biden includes increases to funding for libraries:
The Senate Appropriations Committee's proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 includes the first dedicated federal funding for library facilities in 26 years! For more than two years, ALA advocates across the country have urged Congress to #BuildLibraries. Your work made sure Senators received this message - the Senate's fiscal year 2023 budget proposal includes $20 million to modernize libraries nationwide. This victory shows the power of longer-term policy engagement - but the fight isn't over.
While the Senate Appropriations bill includes this crucial funding, the House has not signed on. Congress may act on these bills as early as September. We need to do all we can now to ensure that the House bill includes this much-needed funding. Will you reach out to your representatives today and urge them to support this historic library facilities funding? Take Action
Library customers are encouraged to contact their federal representatives to request support for the proposed federal budget increases for libraries. Please contact your legislators today using the American Library Association’s engagement website or calling their offices (see phone numbers for the House and Senate). Prince George’s County’s federal representatives are:
#BuildLibraries Campaign for Federal Funding
PGCMLS and the American Library Association invite community members to encourage members of the House of Representatives to support federal funding for library facilities in the FY 2023 budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee has included this funding in their budget proposal, but the House needs to sign on. Congress will decide on the library infrastructure funding by December 16. Contact Representative Anthony Brown or Leader Steny Hoyer here to ask for their support.
The FY23 state legislative session secured additional per capita funding for public libraries and regional resource centers, established new resources for internet access and digital equity, and advanced Maryland’s public libraries’ work in numerous ways. Consider thanking your state legislators for supporting the Library’s FY23 legislative priorities during the most recent legislative session. Find out who your legislators are here and contact them via email, phone, or mail.
Please support @PGCMLS’ state legislative priorities to protect intellectual freedom and increase funding for #MDLibraries. [tag your state legislators]
The Prince George’s County government approved the Library’s FY23 operating budget on June 1, 2022. The budget includes funding for key staffing at the newly expanded Bladensburg Branch Library, funding for critical cybersecurity infrastructure, and more. Thank County Executive Alsobrooks and the Prince George’s County Council for their support of PGCMLS. Find your county elected representatives.
United for Libraries
Indiana Library Federation
"Just wanted to thank Greenbelt Branch Library staff for the great book bundle - these picks are a hit!!"
"Big supporter/fan of my local @PGCMLS and all they are doing to keep staff safe while providing curbside service."
"Just got back from a curbside pickup. Oxon Hill staff were super helpful, as always."
"I miss hanging out at my local library so much! I hope all of you are well and I can’t wait to get books in person again!"
"Thank you for the work you do to keep resources available to patrons and the creative ways you are reaching out to encourage all to take advantage of they online programs you offer."
"I have been using the curbside pickup. I would not ask for better service. Not only that, but the efficiency and the kindness of the entire staff, from the people who put the books out to the guard, are noteworthy. Wonderful experience all around. Thank you."
"The library has been a consistent, reliable resource for me and my family to meet our academic, social and personal development needs. And the librarians are the BEST!!!!! Over the last 20 years I'm come to know many of the librarians and they've always been extremely helpful. The children's programming is amazing. And the ease of use of online services. For all these reasons I love and appreciate the services of PGCMLS."
"I love the Prince George's library system. A lot of thought went into your offerings and I, for one, and very grateful. I use your audiobook and ebook collection heavily. And while using the actual libraries is not an option right now when it is back on offer I will be there!"
"We really relied on the library curbside pickup services and digital services during this pandemic, especially this winter when outdoor activities were hard to plan for our elementary school aged kids. We appreciate the libraries and librarians stepping it up during this time of need and tirelessly serving their communities!"