President’s Budget Freezes Library Funding, Omits School Libraries from Education Increase

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From the Summary:

President Obama today released his FY2011 Budget Proposal to Congress, calling for a freeze to federal library funding under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the primary source of federal funding for libraries.

Under the President’s plan, LSTA would be level-funded at $214 million.

As Americans deal with the weakened economy, they are using their libraries more than ever before, visiting them over 119 million times each month. American Library Association (ALA) President Camila Alire said freezing federal funding for libraries at this time of increased demand will hinder libraries from serving job-seekers, who are flocking to the library for help with online job searching and applications, resume writing, computer classes and much more.


The President’s budget also included a $400 billion investment into education but did not include specific funds for school libraries. Alire said the federal government should invest in school libraries to ensure every student graduates from high school with 21st century skills.

“It is alarming that the President did not recognize the value of school libraries in today’s schools and include them in this effort to improve education,” Alire said.

“Research repeatedly shows that a well-funded and fully staffed school library program with a state-licensed school librarian is an integral component of a student’s education.”

Read the Complete Announcement

Source: American Library Association (ALA)

See Also: The IMLS Announcement

President Obama has requested $265,869,000 for fiscal year 2011 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The request, which was transmitted to Congress today, is the same as the FY 2010 enacted levels for the Institute’s programs and administration.

The President requested $213,523,000 for the nation’s 123,000 libraries. Of that amount, approximately 80 percent ($172.5 million) is distributed through the Grants to States program to the State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and freely associated states, according to a population-based formula. These grants help libraries meet the community needs, use technology to develop new service models and reach underserved populations. Library funding also supports the following programs…


The President’s budget provides $2.1 million in continued support for research and policy activities.

A detailed table of President Obama’s budget request (PDF) for IMLS with recent budget history…

Access the Complete IMLS Announcement

Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services