Taking the advice of Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small, I wrote the following letter to my local representative:
I am writing to you as an Indiana resident, a high school student, and as one who would be affected by the proposed state budget for 2015. I am very interested in genealogy and the history of the state of Indiana. For a number of years, I have participated in the 4-H genealogy project, along with many other young Hoosiers. By engaging in genealogy research, I’ve felt more connected to the history of our state, learning aspects of history I would never have come across in my history curriculum.
As I understand, House Bill 1001 would cut funds for the Indiana State Library and eliminate the Genealogy Department as well. This redistribution of funds, if it takes effect, will be a huge loss for genealogists like myself. In researching my family, I have requested information from the Indiana State Library, and they have been very helpful. The Indianapolis Public Library has already made it known that they will not spend resources on maintaining a genealogy collection. Many records have not been digitized. For a small portion of the budget, the history of the people of Indiana can be preserved and kept safe.
The Indiana State Library and the Genealogy Department are not just valuable resources to Indiana residents. Many researchers come from out of state to view unique records at the state library, generating revenue for our state through their travel expenses.
Indiana’s bicentennial is next year. With such an important anniversary as this, there should be an effort made in regard to showcasing and making accessible our state’s history. How would that happen if the Indiana State Library funding is cut and the Genealogy Department is eliminated?
Please vote to restore funding for the Indiana State Library and the Genealogy Department. We must preserve our history for generations to come.
Please consider contacting a representative and expressing your opinion on the proposed budget.