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Wednesday, 29th October 2008

ALA seeks $100 million in stimulus funding as U.S. libraries face critical cutbacks, closures

ALA seeks $100 million in stimulus funding as U.S. libraries face critical cutbacks, closures

The American Library Association (ALA) is asking Congress for $100 million in stimulus funding to aid the nationís working families during the current economic crisis. Aid is sought to stem the bleeding of critical library services that help Americans with job searches, small business development, financial literacy and other essential assistance in hard economic times.

Public libraries are facing the most severe cutbacks in decades as budget shortfalls hit cities, towns and rural areas across the country, according to the association. From Los Angeles to Boston, libraries are cutting hours and services; some are even facing the threat of closure at a time when their support is needed most.

ALAís recommendation comes as Congress holds hearings this week on economic growth and job creation, including a Joint Economic Committee Hearing tomorrow.

Public libraries depend heavily on local property taxes to maintain operations. Across the country increased foreclosure rates, lower home values and fewer sales have sharply reduced available funds, forcing libraries to cut services and hours.

Source: American Library Association


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