ALA applauds FY 2022 federal funding for libraries in House Appropriations bill, looks to Senate for support

For Immediate Release
Thu, 07/15/2021


Shawnda Hines

Associate Director of Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy Office

American Library Association

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Library Association (ALA) welcomed substantial increases in federal funding for libraries approved today by the House Appropriations Committee. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, saw an increase of $9 million, raising a total of $206.5 million for the nation’s primary source of federal funding for libraries. The increase for LSTA, if it holds in the final bill, would be the eighth-consecutive increase for libraries. Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a program designed to support effective school library literacy initiatives, saw a $3 million increase, making for a total $31 million for the Department of Education program.  

ALA President Patty Wong said, “The American Library Association is delighted to see the continued strong support for libraries from the House Appropriations Committee. The increased funding for native American libraries, as well as institutions such as HBCUs that serve diverse groups, is evidence that appropriators are investing in libraries’ ability to deliver on equitable access to information and economic opportunity.

“Congress is getting the message that libraries of all kinds are key to the vitality of communities. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that America’s libraries are nimble enough to meet changing local needs and foster community resilience. Federal support for libraries is a good investment in communities. We look forward to a similarly robust increase for libraries in the Senate.”

 This full spending package heads to the House floor in the coming weeks. The Senate will begin taking up its funding bills later this summer.

“ALA credits the success in the House to ALA advocates, who generated more than 100 signatures from members of Congress from both parties in support of annual Dear Appropriator letters for LSTA and IAL,” said Wong.

Lead sponsors of the House LSTA letter were Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-NM-3) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK). The IAL support letter was led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-2) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK). 

The House Appropriations Committee also provided increases for several additional programs benefitting libraries and library patrons:

  • IMLS +$25 million
  • LSTA +9 million
  • LSTA Grant to States +8 million
  • LSTA Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services +$1 million
  • Innovative Approaches to Literacy +$3 million
  • National Library of Medicine +$23 million
  • Pell Grants +2.250 billion
  • Strengthening HBCU +$65 million
  • Strengthening Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions +$15 million
  • Strengthening Hispanic-Serving Institutions +$88 million

Additional library-interest programs of note were included in subcommittee bills approved earlier:

  • Library of Congress +$37 million
  • Government Publishing Office +$8.5 million
  • National Archives +$26.6 million