A coalition of business, government, and education leaders are calling on the US Congress to provide emergency aid to libraries impacted by COVID-19 in a letter released by the American Library Association (ALA).The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has signed this letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY), and House Minority Leader McCarthy (R-CA) in support of COVID-19 relief for US libraries.
ARL’s members, and all libraries, are facing significant financial challenges. Federal funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is essential for crucial library services to renew economy and to stabilise the research enterprise. ARL will continue to advocate for research library funding to support the faculty, students, and broader communities who depend on research libraries.
Libraries have suffered thousands of furloughs or layoffs due to COVID-19, according to the letter. Without federal assistance, more job losses are possible in the months ahead. The fiscal effects may impact future budgets, even as some areas begin to reopen and demand grows for library services.
More than 30 businesses and nonprofit organisations have signed the letter. The letter follows bipartisan congressional proposals to include funding for libraries in upcoming coronavirus relief legislation.
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