Urge your Legislators to Build America’s Libraries!

Please ask that they co-sponsor the Build America’s Libraries Act of 2021.

We believe that every community in America deserves great libraries. That includes great librarians and library workers, great collections and programs, and great equipment, library buildings, and bookmobiles.

Library facilities are an essential part of our nation’s civic infrastructure. But for too long, this has unfortunately been overlooked by Congress. The Build America’s Libraries Act would provide historic funding to improve our nation’s libraries. 

Introduced in the Senate on January 28 (S. 127), and the House on March 3 (H.R. 1581), the Build America’s Libraries Act would provide $5 billion in funding to repair, modernize, and construct library facilities in underserved and marginalized communities. Yes, you read that right – $5 billion with a B!

We love America’s library facilities, but we know that the current lack of federal funding is a barrier to enabling the programs and services our communities need. Most library buildings are decades old, including nearly 800 of the original Carnegie libraries which are still in use today. They face many modern challenges, such as adapting ventilation for the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for natural disasters and extreme weather, and meeting current connectivity and accessibility standards to ensure service to all members of the community. 

Federal funding for library buildings has not been provided in more than 20 years. But as the nation works with this new Congress to recover from a historic pandemic and reckon with the legacy of racial injustice, now is the time to think big. The Build America’s Libraries Act would prioritize funding to communities with high poverty rates, as part of a strategy to begin to reverse decades of underinvestment in communities of color. 

Ask your Legislators to co-sponsor the Build America’s Libraries Act today.