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Federal Funding


Last Updated: March 23, 2007


What is Federal Funding?

Quite simply, funding is money. Federal funding is the money for libraries that comes from the U.S. government. The majority of federal library program funds are distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to each state. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is part of the annual Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

In addition to lobbying for LSTA funds, the ALA's Washington Office specifically communicates to Congress about the importance of funding federal libraries - like the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, the National Library of Medicine, etc. - as well as programs in the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. We also lobby for increases for adult education and literacy. In addition, we look for opportunities for libraries of all kinds to become involved in education programs like those for early childhood education.

For a primer on how the federal funding process works, click here.

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Why does it matter to libraries?

Libraries of all kinds need money. The amount of funding that a library receives directly influences the quality of its services. While the majority of funding for libraries comes from state and local sources, federal funding provides critical assistance, giving libraries across the country the financial support they need to serve their communities.

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Current Status

U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairmen arrived at a final joint funding resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2007.

This $463.5 billion spending bill provides $2.3 billion in additional funding over FY 2006, including $1.17 billion for education. Unfortunately, none of the extra funding is directed at libraries. The Institute of Museum and Library Services will be level-funded at FY 2006 levels for the remainder of FY 2007.

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Recent Legislative Background

CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT FEDERAL FUNDING FOR AMERICA'S LIBRARIES!

Please contact your Senators and ask them to sign the "Dear Colleague" letter (PDF) being circulated by Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in support of funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program.

LSTA and Improving Literacy Through School Libraries are two of the most important federal programs for libraries today. The letter is addressed to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation Subcommittee and requests that the Senate include President Bush's request of $226.18 million for LSTA and $100 million for the Improving Literary Through School Libraries program for FY 2008.

When you contact your  Senator, you must ask him or her to call Caitlin with Senator Reed or Seth with Senator Collins, in order to co-sign the letter. DO NOT CALL Caitlin or Seth directly. 

The deadline for signing this letter is April 10.


On February 5, President Bush released a $2.9 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2008 budget request that eliminates or sharply reduces 141 programs. While the Administration requests a sharp increase in defense spending, it significantly reduces entitlement spending to meet the goal of balancing the budget by 2012.

Despite the extremely tight fiscal environment, where many programs are experiencing cuts in funding, the President's request for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is $226,182,000, an increase of $15,585,000 over FY 2006 and an even bigger increase than LSTA would have received for FY 2007 if Congress had completed FY 2007 appropriations bills.

Within that total is $171,500,000 for Grants to State Library Agencies. This funding level will allow full implementation of a 2003 law to provide a more equitable distribution of state formula grants. In 2003, all of the states and Congress agreed that the base should be doubled to help even the playing field for the small states while ensuring that large states don't face an undue burden to achieve that.

Also included: $26,500,000 for the Librarians for the 21st Century program, $12,930,000 for National Leadership Grants for Libraries, and $3,675,000 for Improving Library Service to Native Americans.

For school libraries, the President requested level funding for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program.

The President requested $109,541,000 for the Government Printing Office. Within GPO, the bill includes $45,613,000 for the Superintendent of Documents.

It's not immediately clear how the President's budget request will affect some issues, but we will continue to provide information as we review the budget documents. This includes the budget for EPA libraries, for which we await word from the EPA.

Given the budget difficulties, members are urged to contact the White House to thank the Administration for its continued support and commitment to our nation’s libraries. You may call the White House at 202-456-1111.

 FY 2008 Funding Chart
(Amounts in thousands)

Funding for Selected Programs

FY 2006

FY 2007 Estimate

President’s FY 2008 Budget Request

Library Services and Technology Act

$210,597

$210,597

$226,182

  Grants to State Library Agencies

163,746

163,746

171,500

National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS)

983

983

0

GPO-Office of Sup. of Docs.

33,000

33,000

45,613

National Libraries

 

 

 

Library of Congress (salaries and expenses)

389,000

386,000

461,000

National Agriculture Library

24,000

21,000

20,000

National Library of Medicine (includes MLAA)

312,000

315,000

312,562

Department of Education

 

 

 

Title I, Grants to Local Education Agencies (ESEA I-A)

12,713,125

12,713,125

13,909,900

Even Start (ESEA I-B-3)

99,000

111,584

0

Reading First State Grants (ESEA I-B-1)

1,029,234

1,018,692

1,018,692

Early Reading First (ESEA I-B-2)

103,118

103,118

117,666

Striving Readers Initiative

29,700

31,596

100,000

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ESEA I-B-4)

19,486

19,486

19,486

Education Technology (ESEA II-D-1 &2)

272,250

273,062

0

21st Century Community Learning Centers (ESEA IV-B)

981,166

981,180

981,180

Innovative Ed. Prog. Strategies (ESEA V-Part A)

99,000

99,183

0

Inexpensive Book Distribution (RIF) (ESEA V-D, 5)

25,043

25,043

25,043

Special Education (IDEA) State Grants

10,582,961

10,491,941

10,491,941

Adult Education & Literacy State Grants

563,975

564,074

564,074

Adult Education National Leadership

9,005

9,096

9,096

National Institute for Family Literacy (NIFL)

6,572

6,638

6,638

College Work Study (HEA Title IV-C)

980,354

980,492

980,492

Institutional Development (HEA Title III)

514,544

514,535

497,756

International Ed. (HEA VI)

105,751

105,751

105,751

Postsecondary Ed. Improvement Fund (HEA VII-B)

21,989

26,085

21,988

Institute of Education Sciences

 

 

 

  Educational Research

162,552

162,535

162,535

  Educational Statistics

90,022

89,952

119,022

  Educational Assessment

93,132

93,117

116,632

Vocational Education

1,303,672

1,311,910

617,366

Other Agencies & Programs

 

 

 

Head Start (HHS)

6,851,000

6,789,000

6,789,000

National Archives & Records Adm.

282,000

280,000

313,000

National Endowment for the Arts

124,000

124,000

128,000

National Endowment for the Humanities

141,000

139,000

141,000

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What can I do?

Click here or the logo above to:

Jump to ALA's Legislative Action Center
See what library legislation is hot
Send a letter or fax to Congress

U.S. Capitol switchboard 202-225-3121

We invite you to try out our new site today! If you experience problems with or have questions about the new site, please email Andy Bridges or Erin Haggerty.

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Other Information

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Related Links

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Congressional Budget Office
Senate Budget Committee
House Budget Committee
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
The Institute of Museum and Library Services
Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (USDoEd)
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Federal level activity for library funding.