For immediate release | June 20, 2011

ALA outlines library priorities for reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Library Association (ALA) submitted comments (PDF) to the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Friday, urging the committee to consider library priorities for the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act.

“Libraries play a critical role in providing access to workforce development activities and information related to training services and employment opportunities,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, said.

“We asked the committee to recognize the work libraries are already doing to help the public get back to work and to include libraries in this bill so that they will have the resources and support they need to continue strengthening America’s workforce and helping people look for jobs.”

The ALA’s comments outline seven priorities for the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act. Foremost, the ALA asks the HELP Committee to ensure the bill makes public libraries are eligible for funds for employment and training activities and encourages workforce operators to partner with public libraries. The comments also ask the committee to include public libraries as part of state and local Workforce Development Boards and to emphasize the importance of adult digital literacy skills training.