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Libraries gain in 2019 US federal budget

In the US, federal legislation will ensure level or increased funding for library programs into the new financial year, reports American Libraries Magazine.

The ‘Federal Funding for Library Programs and Agencies by Appropriations Bill’ has passed through Congress and has been signed by the president, which means that from 1 October the US library sector will continue to receive federal government funding.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will receive an additional US$2 million (A$2.8m), and an additional US$70 million (A$98.4m) will be allocated in support of school programs. Programs funded through the Library Services and Technology Act and programs administered by the Department of Education will continue to receive level or increased funding.

American Library Association (ALA) president Loida Garcia-Febo said that most of the programs benefitting from the passed legislation would have otherwise been ‘severely cut or eliminated’ by the 2018 and 2019 White House budget proposals. ‘Because of these advocacy efforts, Congress saw that libraries equal strong communities, and [it] retained or increased federal funding for libraries,’ she said.

Earlier this year, the ALA begun a ‘Fund Libraries’ campaign in response to the 2019 White House budget proposal to cut library funding. ALA past-president Jim Neal said at the time that the budget proposal was ‘out of touch with the real needs of Americans’. ‘Withholding federal support for libraries means withholding services that foster achievement, develop the workforce and contribute to local economies,’ said Neal.


Category: Library news International