Monday, February 4, 2008

Write Congress on Behalf of Our Nation's Public Libraries!

New Federal Budget Proposal Increases Funding for Our Nation's Public Libraries;

Contact Your Representatives in Congress and Tell Them You Want This Funding!

In a budget where domestic discretionary spending was severely restricted and funding for 151 programs was cut or eliminated, the Library Services and Technology Act saw several key increases. Included in LSTA, the most important federal legislation affecting libraries, are the following totals:

  • $171.5 million for state grants, an increase of $10.6 million over FY 2008; this funding increase ensures that smaller states will have the resources to serve their populations, a priority the Congress recognized in 2003;
  • $12.715 million for the National Leadership Grants for Libraries, an increase of $556,000 over FY 2008;
  • $26.5 million for the Recruitment of Librarians for the 21st Century, an increase of $3.16 million over FY 2008;
  • $3.717 million for Native Americans Library Services, an increase of $143,000 over FY 2008; and
  • $3.5 million for library policy, research, and statistics (included in the administration total), an increase of $1.54 million over FY 2008; this will help libraries identify the programs that most effectively serve users.

“This budget is fantastic news for library users across the country,” said ALA President Loriene Roy. “LSTA is a vital funding source for American citizens, especially children. LSTA monies go toward helping people of all backgrounds achieve literacy, including those with disabilities. And Dr. Roy added, “Across the country, libraries use LSTA funding for a wide variety of access services, including workshops on career information, family literacy classes, homework help and mentoring programs, information on religions and other cultures, access to government information, and so much more.

Go to the Literacy/Library Advocacy page on NCBLA's website to find who your congressman and senators are, and how to contact them, at:

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