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News reports of nationwide library funding impacts

Launched in April 2004, this database, which is updated every two weeks, contains short summaries of published news reports about library funding cuts, fundraising and bond issues from around the country. These newspaper reports supplement the most recent comprehensive federal data on libraries, which lags two to five years. For statistics about libraries of all types, please visit the ALA's Office for Research and Statistics .


School Library Funding                         

Past News Stories

EPA Library Closures

Local Funding: Impact by State

Resources and Links

Library Funding Report to ALA Executive Board

Locate your Nearest Public Library



Education Week: Campaigns Spreading to Reverse Downturn in Library Financing                                                                                               


Breaking News: Grassroots school library advocacy efforts in Washington State

Recent Headlines:

  • Cheyenne, Wyoming – (March 4, 2008) The Wyoming House of Representatives passed Senate File 29, which would create a $7.3 million endowment for 23 public libraries throughout the state. While the measure passed the first reading in the House, some representatives disagreed with the three-tiered matching arrangement, saying that it was unfair in that some libraries will get a $1 to $ 1 match, while others would get $2-3 dollars per dollar raised, depending  on a given library's county. – From the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle


  • Seattle, Wash. (January 20, 2008): Due to funding issues, the quality of Seattle-area school libraries’ services have suffered in terms of staffing and programming. Offerings like story hour are endangered as librarians’ positions are expanded to include technology coordination and administration of standardized testing, as library aide jobs are slashed. School librarians in Washington are often forced to work extra, uncompensated hours in order to ensure their facilities are adequately stocked and ready to engage students. The loss of time librarians ideally would have to devote to developing quality collections, teaching about literature and research, have been sacrificed in favor of new expanded responsibilities made necessary by elimination of support staff. Librarians cite that such diminishing of service serves to make libraries less relevant and will decrease the overall quality of education. In the face of these troubling trends, advocacy groups are standing up for libraries in Washington. From established groups like the Washington Library Media Association to the grassroots advocacy effort started by concerned parents in Spokane, parents and librarians are speaking out in favor of well-funded, well-staffed school libraries. – From The Seattle Times
  • Providence, Rhode Island – (January 9, 2008) – In the face of continuing funding woes, the Providence Public Library (PPL) is considering laying off seven children’s librarians this spring. Those positions have been the subject of debate over the past several months, and city officials knew of the lack of funding for them since summer 2007. At that time, the city pressed PPL to move $250,000 originally slated for pensions towards salaries to prevent the layoffs. Now, the library says that that money will run out in May and, barring any additional funding being found, those seven positions will be cut in March. – From The Providence Journal 


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