Libraries are being left behind in Congress's pandemic response. When libraries are left behind, our communities are left behind. We need you to take action and urge Congress to provide emergency relief for libraries.
There is currently no dedicated support for America's libraries in new COVID-19 relief packages - though healthcare, small businesses, and numerous other sectors have been included. Representative Andy Levin (D-MI) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) are sponsoring legislation calling for $2 billion in emergency recovery funding for America's libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Library Stabilization Fund Act would allow libraries across the country to retain staff, maintain services, and safely keep communities connected and informed. This funding would provide:
$1.7 billion to be distributed to libraries through state library agencies based on state population, with a minimum of $10 million to each state
$45 million in grants to Tribal libraries
$200 million in competitive grants to strengthen library services to communities most affected by COVID-19
$40 million for IMLS to administer grants and conduct research and data collection related to the impacts of COVID-19
Library workers have committed to supporting their communities, even in this difficult moment. It's time for Congress to support them in turn. Will you stand with libraries and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor this bill?
Your advocacy secured emergency funding for libraries in the CARES Act. We would not have been able to achieve that success without your hard work and dedication. ALA is dedicated to standing with you and the communities you serve. Please help us to keep pushing by emailing your Members and asking them to cosponsor this bill.
As we learn more, we will remain in touch.
Thank you for your dedication to America's libraries, ALA's Public Policy & Advocacy Team