WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House passed S. 3530, The Museum and Library Services Act of 2018, after the Senate passed the legislation in early December. The bill will increase funding to libraries and museums across the country, ensuring that they have the ability to provide communities with workforce development, literacy programs, and access to technology as well as expanding access to museums and libraries in diverse communities. In addition, the bill promotes a career path for those seeking employment in libraries and museums, with a special emphasis on recruiting librarians from underrepresented communities. Rep. Grijalva introduced the companion legislation in October 2018.
“Modernizing our libraries and museums and prioritizing a diverse workforce that reflects the communities they serve is critical to ensuring a lifetime of learning for all individuals—no matter their race, age, or socio-economic status,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “I’ve seen the important role that libraries play in educating and serving our communities, and I’m thrilled that more funding will be heading their way to help them fulfill their mission. This bipartisan legislation conquered the gridlock of Washington, and countless libraries across the country will now have the resources to improve their services and reach more people.”
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) introduced the bill along with Rep. Grijalva.
“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 Rep. Will Hurd, 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 glad my colleagues came together today in a bipartisan manner to support this bill, and I will continue to ensure that South and West Texans can continue to access quality educational resources.”
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“Local libraries and museums enrich our communities, providing educational opportunities and preserving our history and culture. This bill represents our national commitment to these institutions. 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,” said Senator Reed. “Passage of the Museum and Library Services Act will help us write a new chapter in the digital age, as IMLS helps libraries and museums modernize, collaborate, and strengthen their capacity to serve their communities well into the future.”
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.
Click here to see Rep. Grijalva’s speech in favor of the legislation on the House floor.
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