COSLA Applauds American Rescue Plan Recognition of Libraries’ Vital Role in Communities
Historic boost to Library Services and Technology Act Funding enables substantive response.
(Lexington, KY, March 12, 2021) – The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) signed yesterday by President Joseph R. Biden includes $200 million in pandemic response funding to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a move applauded by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA). The largest portion of this funding ($178 million) will flow through State Library Administrative Agencies which collectively have reach into every public library in the United States. Services and programs created and sustained by these agencies are determined according to local need and address community needs ranging from internet access to education to skill-building and workforce development.
“Libraries are trusted institutions and have proven their abilities to serve all members of their communities in times of need,” said COSLA President and Montana State Librarian Jennie Stapp. “Response to the pandemic has required our nation’s libraries to flex their strengths creatively and to go more deeply down certain familiar paths, like providing broad and equitable access to internet and electronic information resources. And in this time of crisis, libraries are supporting new service modelslike curbside service and support for remote education and work. Support of core principles such as education, self-empowerment, economic opportunity, and community sustainability have proven to beimportant guideposts even through the unusual and even dire circumstances of the past year.
“The funding made available through ARPA will be key to further resiliency and recovery in communities across the United States,” offered Timothy Cherubini, Executive Director of COSLA. “State Libraries diligently put previous funding from the 2020 CARES Act to use quickly and effectively. Their knowledge and experience will prove beneficial in deploying ARPA funds when, where, and how they are most needed.
” COSLA is grateful for the support and vision of our nation’s leaders for their recognition of libraries as important community infrastructure and foundational for community well-being and growth in times of emergency and stability alike.
COSLA, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 organization of the chief officers of state and territorial agencies designated as the state library administrative agency and responsible for statewide library development. Its purpose is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest; to further state library agency relationships with federal government and national organizations; and to initiate cooperative action for the improvement of library services to the people of the UnitedStates. https://www.cosla.org/
Contact: Timothy Cherubini, Executive Director, [email protected]; (859) 514 9826