WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today led 144 lawmakers in sending a bipartisan letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, urging them to appropriate $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) for FY 2018. The LSTA provides grants for libraries in every state to support summer reading programs, develop resources for families with differently abled children, works with local business communities to expand their online presence, and acquire technology tools to close the “digital gap” in rural and underserved communities, among other programs. Grijalva’s call for funding comes as the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which is responsible for managing grants provided by LSTA, was eliminated in President Trump’s budget proposal to Congress.
“Libraries bring the world to our fingertips, and unlock opportunities that pocketbook realities keep out of reach for far too many Americans,” Rep. Grijalva said. “From internet access to job application training, help with career openings to homework assistance for students, libraries unlock tremendous possibilities at no cost to their users. But these services require investments from the federal government, and right now the Trump administration is trying to pull the plug on library funding altogether. It’s time we recognize this for what it is: an assault on the poor, plain and simple. Republicans have a choice – they can be complicit in Trump’s attack, or they can join us in safeguarding libraries as a vital resource to communities all across this country.”
Rep. Grijalva’s letter is available here.