Help us support an increase in federal funding for libraries in the United States through the Biden Pandemic Relief Bill.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the United States economy into an economic crisis. Across the country, more than 10 million Americans are unemployed, 14 million renters are behind on payments, and 29 million adults – and at least 8 million children – are struggling with food insecurity.
Libraries have an important role in re-opening the American economy and helping millions of Americans get back to work. For example, while some internet providers have chosen not to cut off the internet for people who couldn’t pay for it during the quarantine, those bills will eventually come due. If people lose access to the internet at home there will be no way to apply for jobs, start or re-start small home businesses, or learn new skills in a changing workforce except through their local libraries. We also know that a large part of the economy is digital and online commerce. If people can no longer make purchases online due to a loss of access to the internet at home it will hamper our ability to jump-start our economy. The only place that allows our community members to access the internet and pick themselves up are our nation’s incredible libraries.
That’s why we’re asking you to support funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services(IMLS) in the Biden pandemic relief bill. This current “markup” of the relief bill includes 200 million dollars in funding for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Grant. This funding would got to each state to establish programs like career and employment help, services for returning veterans, trainings for small business owners, after school homework help, storytimes, and more. It can also be used for technology upgrades and broadband, libraries on native lands, books for the blind programs, and other infrastructure.
House Education and Labor Committee markup: https://edlabor.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Committee%20Print%20(Reconciliation%20Directives).pdf