The president's budget proposal strips funding away from one of our greatest resources for lifelong learning – our libraries. Libraries are fundamental to meeting the reading and information needs of communities nationwide. During this difficult recession, they rose to the challenge of helping Americans get back to work through vital assistance with online job searches and applications as well as resume development. In addition, many libraries hold classes to teach the critical 21st century digital literacy skills that are essential to thriving in today's global economy.
We believe President Obama's request to cut funding to library services is short-sighted, when libraries are being used by millions of people every day. When we invest in them, we invest in the future of our country. We ask Congress to restore the support for America's libraries.
The president's budget requested $194 million for assistance to libraries to be administered by the Institute of Museum and Libraries Services. This request is approximately $20 million below the current funding level.
Like last year, the president chose to consolidate the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program with several other literacy programs.