ALA thanks House appropriators for recommending $10 million increase for LSTA

Contact: Bernadette Murphy

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410

For Immediate Release

June 7, 2006

American Library Association (ALA) thanks House appropriators for recommending $10 million increase for LSTA

(WASHINGTON) Today the American Library Association (ALA) extended thanks on behalf of America’s library patrons to members of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee for their recommendation of a $10,258,000 funding increase for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The appropriators recommended that LSTA be funded at $220,855,000 in FY 2007.

The Subcommittee also recommended $262,240,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an increase of $15,096,000 or 6.1 percent over FY 2006. As many of America’s libraries face budget cuts at the state and local level, the Congress’ commitment to increase federal funding for libraries means that thousands of Americans will continue to have access to quality library and information services.

Within the LSTA total is $171,500,000 for Grants to State Library Agencies, an amount ALA has actively fought for as this funding level allows full implementation of a 2003 law to provide a more equitable distribution of state formula grants. Also included is $25,000,000 for Laura Bush’s Librarians for the 21
st Century program, $12,930,000 for National Leadership Grants for Libraries, and $3,675,000 for Improving Library Service to Native Americans. The Subcommittee recommended that the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program be flat funded at $19.486 million, the same level as FY 2006.

ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff said, “we are pleased that Congress recognizes that America’s libraries deliver crucial information and top-quality services to the public. Increased LSTA funding will allow libraries to continue to serve millions of people in all types of American 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 state certified school media specialists.