President Bush Proposes Increases in Library Funding

Contact: Bernadette Murphy, Communications Specialist

For Immediate Release

February 7, 2005

President Bush proposes increases in library funding

(Washington, DC)
The American Library Association (ALA) applauded the funding increases for libraries proposed in President Bush’s budget, released this morning.
During difficult budget times, the increases in library funding proposed by the President will mean that many of America’s libraries will be able to continue to provide key programs and services like bookmobiles and interlibrary loans to their communities.

The President
recommended a total of $221,325,000 for library programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an increase of $15,374,000 over FY 2005.
That total includes:

  • $170,500,000 for state grants, an increase of $9,796,000 over FY 2005. This funding increase ensures that smaller states will have the resources to serve their populations, a priority the Congress recognized in 2003.

  • $14,000,000 for the National Leadership Grants for Libraries and $26,000,000 for the Recruitment of Librarians for the 21
    st Century.
    This funding increase demonstrates a consistent commitment by the President and the First Lady to ensure that the nation has another generation of trained librarians to serve their communities.

  • $3,675,000 for Native Americans Library Services.

Overall, the Committee’s recommendation included a funding level of $262,240,000 for IMLS.

For the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program, the President requested $19.6 million, the same level proposed in FY2005.

“Given the current political environment – large deficits, limited resources and many competing interests – libraries are thankful to see an increase in funding,” said Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the ALA Washington Office.
She added, “I’m thankful that the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program has been level-funded. The funding for this program will help school libraries purchase desperately needed books, fund new technology, and encourage professional development. These activities are essential, especially at a time when libraries across the country are being called upon to deliver more crucial services to their communities.”

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is the only federal program exclusively created for libraries, and is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The law's definition of a library includes institutions of all types and sizes, such as public, academic, research, school, state, and even digital libraries. The law includes grants for Native American and Native Hawaiian library services, as well as National Leadership grants aimed at education and training, research and demonstration projects, the preservation of library materials, and model projects between libraries and museums.

The Improving Literacy Through School Library program is part of the No Child Left Behind Act and designed to improve student literacy skills and academic achievement by providing schools with up-to date library materials and to ensure that school library media centers are staffed by well-trained and professionally certified school media specialists.