"The majority of federal library funds are distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to each state through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant program from the U.S. Department of Education supports school libraries working to foster reading skills at the most critical early years of a child's development. LSTA and IAL provide critical assistance, giving libraries across the country the financial support they need to serve their communities.
With $189.3 million in LSTA funds, more than 120,000 public, academic, government, and special libraries are able to advance entrepreneurship, employment, and education in communities across the country. LSTA prepares students for today’s job market by providing coding and STEM activities. LSTA funds business development assistance programs for entrepreneurs, provided by skilled business and technology outreach librarians.
To cut funding for libraries means to undercut opportunities provided to all Americans. ALA advocates energetically to urge Congress to continue to make full funding for our nation’s libraries a priority."
November 18, 2020: Congress has one primary item on its agenda when it returns to Washington for a lame-duck session: pass a Fiscal Year 2021 budget to avoid a government shutdown. Congress has not come to an agreement on a spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, which began on October 1, 2020. Currently, the government is operating at FY 2020 spending levels under a continuing resolution that ends December 11.
Congress will either extend the continuing resolution into 2021 or pass FY 2021 appropriations bills. Both the House spending package that passed in July and the Senate proposal released on November 10 include a $5 million increase for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). If Congress manages to pass a FY 2021 budget that resembles its current drafts, libraries can again expect yet another win—five years in a row.
Image and Text: American Library Association, 2019. http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/take-action-for-libraries-day