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118th U.S. Congress
ILA works closely with our national organization, the American Library Association (ALA), on federal issues. ALA's Committee on Legislation encourages ALA members and library supporters to advocate on the following library priorities in 2023. ALA will monitor and engage on these and other federal issues that affect libraries and will join with partners and coalitions to promote strong and equitable libraries. We urge ALA members and library supporters to sign up as advocates and use ALA’s advocacy resources to build effective relationships with decision makers. We will work to advance these agenda items before Congress and the Administration.
Federal Legislative Agenda
Funding and Support
Equitable federal funding for library services is essential to ensuring that every community in America has strong libraries. Key issues for 2023:
Dedicated library programs: Increase and maintain funding for the:
- Institute of Museum and Library Services, which administers the Library Services and Technology Act, with priority on services and technology for underserved communities;
- Innovative Approaches to Literacy program and support for school libraries through the Department of Education;
- Improving Library and Museum Facilities proposed program or other approaches to support library renovation and construction, sustainability, and resilience; and
- National library programs, including the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, National Agricultural Library, and the Federal Depository Library Program.
Library-eligible programs: Continue and enhance federal programs for which libraries are eligible recipients or partners. Recognize and support libraries’ important roles in:
- K-12 and early education, including in reauthorizing the Every Student Succeeds Act;
- Higher education, including in reauthorizing the Higher Education Act;
- Economic and workforce development, including in reauthorizing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and
- Other crucial community services, including through the National Endowment for the Humanities, Community Development Block Grants, and other applicable programs.
Library workers: Support and protect library workers, including promoting safe work environments and preserving library workers’ eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Digital Inclusion and Skills
To promote digital equity, access to technology, and enable modern library services, libraries in all parts of the country must be able to serve their users with fast and affordable broadband, technology access, and digital skills training. Key issues for 2023:
E-rate: Improve outreach and technical assistance for applicants to increase library participation in the program, especially in underserved communities. Expand eligible uses.
Digital skills and economic opportunity: Expand support for libraries to deliver digital skills training and business and workforce development resources.
Content access and liability: Restore net neutrality protections. Preserve Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act liability protections for libraries.
Copyright, Licensing, and Competition
Libraries rely on balanced and flexible copyright policy to enable vital library services. ALA supports a modern copyright system with effective user rights and limitations and exceptions to copyright. Additionally, libraries rely on fair licenses and market practices in order to provide access to digital content such as e-books. Key issues for 2023:
E-books and digital content: Prevent unfair and anti-competitive practices that limit libraries’ ability to meet their users’ reading and information needs.
Copyright Office: Maintain the Librarian of Congress’ authority to manage and oversee the Copyright Office.
Government Information and Services
Libraries provide access to government information and services in communities across the country. ALA supports policies that assist libraries in providing no-fee permanent public access to government information and equitable access to government services, which includes voting. Key issues for 2023:
Federal Depository Library Program: Modernize the Federal Depository Library Program.
Public access to research: Ensure public access to publicly-funded research and data.