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President Obama’s budget increases library funding

President Barack Obama today transmitted to Congress the Obama Administration’s nearly $4 trillion budget request to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2016, which starts October 1, 2015. The President’s budget reflected many of the ideas and proposals outlined in his January 20th State of the Union speech.

President Barack ObamaHighlights for the library community include $186.5 million in assistance to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). This important program provides funding to states through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“We applaud the President for recognizing the tremendous contributions libraries make to our communities, ” said American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young in a statement. “The American Library Association appreciates the importance of federal support for library services around the country, and we look forward to working with the Congress as they draft a budget for the nation.

“The biggest news for the library community is the announcement of $8.8 million funding for a national digital platform for library and museum services, which will give more Americans free and electronic access to the resources of libraries, archives, and museums by promoting the use of technology to expand access to the holdings of museums, libraries, and archives. Funding for this new program will be funded through the IMLS National Leadership Grant programs for Libraries ($5.3 million) and Museums ($3.5 million).

Statutory Authority FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014
FY 2015
FY 2016 Request
Grants to States 172,561 160,032 156,365 150,000 154,848 154,848 154,500
Native Am/Haw. Libraries 4,000 3,960 3,869 3,667 3,861 3,681 4,063
Nat. Leadership / Libraries 12,437 12,225 11,946 11,377 12,200 12,200 17,500
Laura Bush 21st Century 24,525 12,818 12,524 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,500
Subtotal, LSTA 213,523 189,035 184,704 175,044 180,909 180,909 186,563

(in thousands of dollars) View the full chart on the budget from IMLS.

“With the appropriations process beginning, we look forward to working for continued support of key programs, including early childhood learning, digital literacy, and the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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Kevin Maher

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