The House of Representatives today passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an economic stimulus package to provide $819 billion in supplemental appropriations funding for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, and assistance to the unemployed.
This is the first step in the new Administration and Congress’ plan to lift our nation from this troubling economic time. The Senate must now take up its version of this legislation.
President Obama today stated that this plan will put Americans back to work — a goal our nation’s libraries continue to strive towards. Librarians and libraries are assisting the American public with online job searching and resume building as well as providing skills training and financial education. During this time when staggering reports of job losses are being announced every day, those services are needed more than ever before.
The ALA must forge ahead with educating our representatives in Congress about the services libraries provide to their constituents to help them find jobs and gain the skills they need.
We are pleased that the House-passed legislation recognizes how much communities depend on libraries, and, as Congress works through this process, we will continue to explore other ways library patrons can benefit from the stimulus.
Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director
ALA Washington Office