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Funding for School Libraries Included in LHHS Subcommittee’s Appropriations Bill

The American Library Association (ALA) applauds the efforts of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS), and Education Appropriations Subcommittee on including funding for libraries at this week’s markup.

The bill includes $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.

“The American Library Association supports the funding levels that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and school libraries,” said ALA President Molly Raphael. “We look forward to working with the rest of the Senate and the House to make sure libraries are federally funded at these committee approved levels.”

The bill also includes level funding (funded at the same level as last year) for the Institute of Museum and Library Services at $231.9 million. Of the Institute of Museum and Library Services funding, $184.7 million was included for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Below, is a breakdown of the LSTA funding:

  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 Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to mark-up its 2013 fiscal year spending bill sometime in the next several weeks, however no date or time has been announced.

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Jazzy Wright

Jazzy Wright is a former press officer of the Washington Office.

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