Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Andy Levin (D-MI) have introduced the Library Stabilization Fund Act. The legislation would establish a $2 billion fund, administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to address financial losses and bolster library services, with priority to the hardest-hit communities (view ALA summary).
Stabilization funding would support a range of library services to patrons, enabling libraries to:
- Maintain core library services and keep nearly 370,000 library workers on the job
- Purchase cleaning and PPE supplies and train staff for safe re-opening
- Expand technology and services to keep millions of library users connected to the internet
- Strengthen collections and programs to address needs such as remote learning, job skills, access to government services and early literacy
ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., said, “The spread of COVID-19 has caused significant financial losses for America’s libraries, resulting in disruption to core library services, thousands of furloughs and layoffs. The Library Stabilization Fund Act is the comprehensive federal response needed to keep our nation’s libraries safely in operation, and ALA is throwing the full weight of our advocacy network into supporting this bill.”
“At a time when budgets of local governments have been decimated,” continued Jefferson, “America can’t afford to dismiss a national infrastructure of 117,000 libraries nimble enough to offer relief and advance recovery.”
Video Librarian urges you to reach out to your Congressman to help keep #LibrariesStrong. When libraries are left behind, our communities are left behind. We need you to take action and implore Congress to provide emergency relief for libraries.
For more information, visit ALA’s website.