Federal Issues

Keep abreast of issues impacting libraries at the Federal level

The Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is a federal agency that is funded through government appropriations. IMLS uses this funding to support libraries, museums, and related institutions throughout the nation. This earmark grant provided by Congress is essential for libraries to operate and fund programming and the purchase of library materials. IMLS also administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program, which helps expand services and access to information within libraries. Funding for LSTA is provided by the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. 

21st Century Community Learning Centers

The U.S. Department of Education supports 21st Century Community Learning Centers that create after-school programs in underserved communities. Similar to libraries, these programs provide access to information outside of classrooms and allow students to learn about a variety of topics through reading and hands-on activities, often including STEM sessions. 

The Fight Book Bans Act

In December 2023, a group of Democratic legislators introduced the Fight Book Bans Act (H.R.6592) in Congress, which would indirectly prevent the censorship of books and library materials by providing funding to properly review books that are being challenged. The law would allow the U.S. Department of Education to allocate $100,00 per district for these book challenges, with the goal of preventing the censorship of the materials.

The Books Save Lives Act

The proposed Books Save Lives Act would attempt to prevent the banning of books within the country by ensuring that school libraries maintain diverse collections and classifying book bans as violations of federally-protected civil rights, given that the bans disproportionally impact BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. The bill would also ensure that schools have trained librarians within their libraries and report the impact of book bans on underrepresented communities.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with an expansive collection of print and digital resources and materials. It provides the public access to information while preserving and documenting the history of America. As a legislative agency of the U.S. Congress, the Library of Congress is an essential feature of federal librarianship that is funded by government appropriations.