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Contact:  Larra Clark
Press Officer, ALA

For Immediate Release       
April 12, 2004

ALA launches Web site detailing library funding cuts nationwide

More than 40 states report cuts exceeding $50 million

CHICAGO -- School, public and academic libraries in more than 40 states have absorbed more than $50 million in funding cuts over the past year, according to a national study by the American Library Association (ALA).  The study and detailed information about the cuts appear in a new ALA Web site,

"Unfortunately, the news from around the country only seems to be getting worse," said ALA President Carla Hayden. "Libraries have experienced cuts of up to 50 percent in funding this past year. This information should serve as a rallying cry to library supporters that our ability to serve people is being compromised.  We need our supporters to speak up on our behalf and influence elected officials to support libraries."

The Web site features state-by-state information on budget cuts that has been reported in newspapers around the country.  The information is searchable by type of library, name or library or by city.  The site also links to ongoing coverage in American Libraries about library funding and to the ALA's Issues and Advocacy pages for more information and suggestions for how to get involved.  The site builds on information received from libraries a year ago about funding cuts at the state level.

The site also features an area where library staff and users can provide additional anecdotal information about the impact of cuts in their communities, which also will be compiled and made available in the future.

"One of the biggest challenges in responding to library funding cuts has been the lack of hard information on the magnitude of these cuts," said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. "It can take years for statistical information gathered by state and national agencies to become available, making it difficult for us to talk in much detail about cuts and their impact while they're happening. This new Web site helps us provide information faster, making ALA a more useful resource for libraries and library supporters trying to alert local and national media and the public to library funding cuts and the very real impact they're having on people."

For additional information on how library advocates can spread the word about library funding issues during National Library Week (April 18-24) and National Library Workers Day (April 20), please visit or email