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Rep. Grijalva Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Access to Libraries and Museums

WASHINGTON, DC—Last week, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva introduced H.R.6988, the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018, which provides funding to libraries  and museums across the country. These funds will expand technology services for libraries, promote a career path for those seeking employment in libraries and museums, and enhance the capacity of libraries to provide communities with workforce development, literacy programs, and greater accessibility to meet the needs of diverse communities.

“Libraries and museums ensure access to information for millions of adults and children across the country, and I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to promote their growth, expand their services, and safeguard these critical institutions for generations to come, said Rep. Grijalva. "I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to ensure libraries and museums have the necessary resources to modernize their services and solidify their role as the technological hubs of communities across the country.”

Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), David McKinley (R-WV), and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) joined Rep. Grijalva in introducing the bill in the House of Representatives.

“Our public libraries, especially in rural areas, go far beyond simply providing books. They serve as the primary provider of literacy programming, technology training and job seeking assistance in many communities I represent across South and West Texas,” said U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23), who represents more than one hundred public libraries, college libraries and school districts in the 23rd District of Texas. “The grant funding authorized through this bill directly serves libraries across our state and is vital for their continued success. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill today to ensure South and West Texans can continue to access quality educational resources.”

In Arizona alone, libraries receive an average of 466,000 visitors each week. In 2017, visitors checked out a combined 45.3 million items and logged 4.7 million sessions on public access computers.

“Thank you to Representative Grijalva and Senator Reed for introducing the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018,” said Gina Macaluso, President of the Arizona Library Association. “This funding provided to libraries throughout the state of Arizona through the Museum and Library Services Act is central to providing equitable access to information for all citizens. Libraries support education, innovation and community engagement to diverse and underserved individuals. In many communities throughout Arizona, this funding is all that is available to provide these essential services. Especially in these times where digital access is key to individual success, libraries provide the foundation of social equity.”

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.  

“Libraries and museums are anchor institutions for their communities, and we need to do all we can to support them in their mission.  The Museum and Library Services Act represents our national commitment to ensuring these institutions are funded, staffed, and accessible to all.  Through a relatively modest federal investment, this law helps build capacity to support and expand access to library and museum services at the state and local level.  It will help fully leverage the role of libraries and museums in supporting the learning, educational, and workforce development needs of Americans nationwide,” said Senator Reed.

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