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Library Services Impacted by Government Shutdown

U.S. Capitol.
U.S. Captiol by Jeffrey via flickr.

Unless you’ve been lucky enough to have been lounging away at a private beach without media access, you know that the U.S. government has shut down. The shutdown officially occurred at midnight as the House and Senate were unable to agree on a continuing resolution (C.R.) to fund the government. It remains unclear exactly how long the shutdown will last.

While the ALA Washington Office remains up and running, the shutdown will have a noticeable impact on library services across the country. To name a few:

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is closed and will be unable to disperse grants and funds to libraries as part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
  • U.S. Census websites and collection surveys will be unavailable until the government is funded.
  • The Government Printing Office (GPO) is closed. will not be updated during the shutdown. Federal Register services will continue in a limited capacity.
  • The Library of Congress will be closed to the public and researchers for the duration of the shutdown.

It is worth noting to our animal loving readers that the National Zoo’s “Panda Cam” has gone dark and will be off throughout the shutdown. But seriously, the longer this congressional inaction lasts, the more Americans there are that will feel the pain. People who rely on library services are no exception to this.

If you have an example of how the shutdown is impacting you or your patrons, use the comment section below or tweet us @ala_wo Be sure to check back on District Dispatch for updates on the shutdown.

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Ted Wegner is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.

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