Build America's Libraries Act

Build America's Libraries Act, American Library Association, #BuildLibraries

Build America's Libraries Act

Introduced on January 28, 2021 in the Senate by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), as well as on March 3, 2021 in the House by Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI-9) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK), the Build America's Libraries Act would fund upgrades to the nation's library infrastructure to address challenges such as natural disasters, broadband capacity, environmental hazards, and accessibility barriers. This groundbreaking legislation would pave the way for new and improved library facilities in underserved communities across the country. Join us in the effort to support this bill and #BuildLibraries.

This year's legislative session has seen many twists, but we are focused on delivering for libraries across the country with an historic investment in library infrastructure. As Congress crafts a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan, we need to make it clear: libraries must be included. The Senate has given September 15th, 2021 as the date for committees to finish their work in allocating the $3.5 trillion among different legislative priorities. Now is the time for us to speak up and tell Congress that an investment in libraries is an investment in all Americans. Take action and tell your legislators that they must #BuildLibraries and include the Build America's Libraries Act in the budget reconciliation plan.

Senate Co-Sponsors

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House Co-Sponsors

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Share Your Story!

What are the biggest challenges you face in your library facilities? What impact would this legislation have on your community? Share your story with ALA to help make the case for federal support for library construction and modernization. Your elected officials want to hear concrete examples of impact and need from their constituents - increase your impact by sharing your story. Check out this example from Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio to understand what details can be most helpful in advocating for your community.

Share on Social

Take a moment to tell your community how important it is that we pass this legislation and #BuildLibraries. Use our social media graphics (Facebook graphic / Twitter graphic) and sample posts to spread the word. Don't forget to follow @LibraryPolicy and #BuildLibraries on Twitter for more updates!

Social media share: Build America's Libraries Act , American Library Association, #BuildLibraries

Bring Congress to Your Library

Invite your member of Congress to a virtual tour of your library - raise awareness and build a relationship to help cultivate a library champion. You can use our checklist for planning a virtual tour, and watch an example tour hosted by Clinton-Macomb Public Library's Larry Neal, featuring Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI-9).



Supporters of the Build America’s Libraries Act:

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  • Afterschool Alliance
  • Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Indian Library Association
  • American Institute of Architects
  • American Library Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Society of Interior Designers
  • Association for Rural & Small Libraries
  • Association of Research Libraries
  • Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums
  • Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
  • Council of State Archivists
  • Education Market Association
  • First Focus Campaign for Children
  • International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
  • International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
  • International WELL Building Institute
  • MomsRising
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Coalition for History
  • National Coalition for Literacy
  • National Digital Inclusion Alliance
  • National Humanities Alliance
  • National League of Cities
  • National Summer Learning Association
  • North America's Building Trades Unions
  • Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition
  • Society of American Archivists
  • Southern Education Foundation
  • Urban Libraries Council

Media Coverage

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  • VT Digger: Let's look ahead with federal library funding now (October 10, 2022)
  • The Oklahoman: Guest: Public libraries shouldn't have to operate in outdated facilities (October 9, 2022)
  • Portland Press-Herald: Maine Voices: We have a rare opportunity to improve local libraries (October 7, 2022)
  • NH Register: Opinion: To strengthen our communities, we must fortify our public libraries (September 8, 2022)
  • Herald-Dispatch: Libraries are essential and need Congressional support (October 24, 2021)
  • San Francisco Examiner: Federal funding would be a game-changer for San Francisco's beloved libraries (September 22, 2021)
  • The Spokesman-Review: Time running out for library funding opportunity (September 21, 2021)
  • Albany Times Union: Libraries are anchors of our communities. They need help. (September 14, 2021)
  • High Country News: Why investing in libraries is a climate justice issue (September 13, 2021)
  • WHYY: Need for costly repairs is forcing the temporary closure of two Cheltenham libraries (September 12, 2021)
  • Columbus Dispatch: New library buildings reinvestment in communities, requiring fundamental shift in services (September 7, 2021)
  • The 74 Million: Leaky roofs, bad plumbing, no internet: advocates say America's libraries need $32 billion for infrastructure upgrades (September 7, 2021)
  • Seattle Times: Congress must invest in our well-loved, aging libraries (September 3, 2021)
  • Arizona Daily Star: Library infrastructure and funding (August 6, 2021)
  • Publishers Weekly: An inflection point for libraries (August 6, 2021)
  • Arizona Daily Star: Investment in library infrastructure is critical and overdue (August 3, 2021)
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch: Let's write Richmond's next chapter by investing in our libraries (July 28, 2021)
  • Caledonian Record: Make room at the infrastructure table for libraries (July 27, 2021)
  • Information Today: Saving libraries - It's a critical time for funding legislation (July 27, 2021)
  • Rutland Herald: Libraries' upkeep funding (July 22, 2021)
  • Daily Freeman: Nation's libraries need federal aid (July 18, 2021)
  • Louisville Business First: Support crucial for building libraries, and a better Louisville (July 12, 2021)
  • Post and Courier: Libraries are the foundation of SC communities. Invest in them (July 8, 2021)
  • Commercial Observer: US libraries hope for billions in federal aid for infrastructure (July 8, 2021)
  • Capitol Weekly: Historic budget: CA leads in library modernization. Will Feds follow? (July 2, 2021)
  • Herald Net: Local libraries key infrastructure for community (June 20, 2021)
  • The Parsons Advocate: Bolstering West Virginia's infrastructure (June 14, 2021)
  • New Haven Register: Library legislation we can all agree on (June 4, 2021)
  • The Junction City Union: Build America's Libraries Act seeks to keep libraries safe, accessible to everyone (June 1, 2021)
  • The Buffalo News: Proposed federal legislation would benefit Erie County's public libraries (May 24, 2021)
  • Bay To Bay News: First, let's put federal funding back into Delaware libraries (May 24, 2021)
  • Martinsburg Journal: Why we need to talk about libraries now (May 22, 2021)
  • Anchorage Daily News: That 70's library: Time for a reboot, Alaska (May 21, 2021)
  • Delaware Morning Star: Our state would benefit from the Build America's Libraries Act (May 20, 2021)
  • Springfield News-Leader: Libraries need to be part of infrastructure repair (May 19, 2021)
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Other voices: Build America's Libraries Act (May 9, 2021)
  • Tacoma News Tribune: Congress must bail out Tacoma, Washington state libraries (May 8, 2021)
  • VTDigger: Public libraries, and investing in the next chapter (May 7, 2021)
  • Capital Gazette: What if America fully funded its public libraries? (May 4, 2021)
  • The New York Times: Federal money for public libraries (May 2, 2021)
  • The Virginian-Pilot: Federal bill can help improve, rebuild Hampton Roads libraries (April 17, 2021)
  • Eugene Register-Guard: Libraries are a community's cornerstone (April 15, 2021)
  • The Colorado Sun: As Denver's libraries reopen, the need for federal help becomes more critical (April 15, 2021)
  • Santa Cruz Sentinel: Mayor's Message | More new libraries on the way (April 10, 2021)
  • Macomb Daily: Looking to strengthen communities on a budget? Invest in our libraries (April 8, 2021)
  • Louisville Courier-Journal: Investing in libraries ensures a stronger Louisville for generations (April 7, 2021)
  • Cal Matters: Time to invest in our libraries (April 7, 2021)
  • Portland Press-Herald: Amid information explosion, libraries have become more relevant, not less (April 7, 2021)
  • The Hill: From steel to fiber, libraries are American infrastructure (April 5, 2021)
  • Glens Falls Post-Star: Libraries are essential and they need help (April 2, 2021)
  • McAlester News-Capital: Editorial, Build America's Libraries Act could help McAlester (March 17, 2021)
  • Up North Live: Federal proposal focused on building and renovating libraries (March 9, 2021)
  • Providence Business News: Now is the time to rebuild our libraries (March 5, 2021)

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