Congress clears legislation to fund Library Services and Technology Act

Contact: Jenni Terry
Press Officer
ALA Washington Office
202-628-8410

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate passed omnibus legislation that included the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Sunday, clearing the bill for the President’s signature. The final version, which passed the House of Representatives a few days before, included a slight increase for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding.

LSTA was appropriated $213.5 million for FY 2010, a 0.63 percent increase over FY 2009. Of that amount, $172.5 million was designated for the Grants to States program, the primary source of federal funding for libraries. This amount is a 0.62 percent increase over last year.

“While the increase in funding is marginal, this outcome is a win for libraries,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, said.

“Congress’ purse strings are becoming tighter and tighter, and at this time any increase at all is evidence that the federal government understands how important libraries are to communities and that LSTA funding is a fundamental means of maintaining and enhancing library services nationwide. Yet, increasing LSTA to $450 million is our goal since more and more individuals are turning to their libraries during this time of economic downturn. When Congress resumes next year, library staff and patrons should continue to voice their strong support to their federally elected officials for increasing LSTA as they draft spending bills for FY 2011.”

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