U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approves funding for IMLS and School Libraries

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The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee reported (voted out of committee) the Labor, Health and Humans Services, and Education (LHHS) FY 2013 spending bill this afternoon.  This bill contains funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) including the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants, as well as federal funding for school libraries.  This bill (which has not been filed and does not yet have a bill number) was approved by the Committee on a 16-14 party line vote.  Republicans opposed this bill largely over objections to the funding for the Affordable Care Act under the Department of Health and Human Services which is also contained in this bill.

Included in this bill is $30 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), which is a $400,000 increase over FY 2012.  By law, a minimum of half of the funds under this program ($14.5 million) must go to school libraries in the neediest school districts as a competitive grant.  The rest of the program will be allocated for national nonprofits that work for childhood literacy.

Also included in this bill was level funding (funded at the same level as last year) for IMLS at $231.9 million.  Of this IMLS money, $184.7 million was included for LSTA.  Below is a breakdown of the LSTA money.

  1. Grants to States which is a population-based formula grant designed to support library services in communities — Senate funded at $156.3 million.
  2. Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services to support improved access to library services for Native Americans, Alaska Native Villages, and Native Hawaiians — Senate funded at $3.8 million.
  3. National Leadership Grants to support activities of national significance that enhances the quality of library services nationwide and provide coordination between libraries and museums — Senate funded at $12 million.
  4. Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians is used to develop and promote the next generation of librarians — Senate funded at $12.4 million.

There is no word when the entire Senate body will take action on this appropriations bill.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Educations (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to mark-up it’s FY 2013 spending bill sometime in the next several weeks, however no date or time has been announced.

About Jeffrey Kratz

Jeffrey Kratz is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.

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