WASHINGTON, May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many of America's leading information, software, publishing and other businesses as well as multiple national trade associations today unveiled the Corporate Committee for Library Investment to advocate for federal library funding.
As Congress turns to funding the government beyond next September, CCLI launches against the backdrop of Administration proposals to eliminate most federal library funding and the agency that distributes those funds to every state. Members of CCLI are united by the common belief that America's libraries are business-building, job-creating, workforce-preparing engines of the U.S. economy in every corner of the country. The group formed to tell that story to Congress and other federal policy makers who control library funding and to encourage every American business to do the same.
CCLI today delivered a letter, which remains open to signature by any business of any size, to all members of the United States Senate. (Eight companies made a similar delivery in their own names on May 11.) The letter expressly asks senators to sign two letters to their colleagues on the Appropriations Committee calling for $186.6 million in FY 2018 funding for programs under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program (IAL). LSTA funding goes primarily to a population-based matching grant program that puts states in charge of how federal funds are spent. IAL allows school libraries and non-profit groups to buy books and educational materials for the nation's neediest children.
CCLI also will work to: rapidly reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act, which created LSTA; and assure that any infrastructure investments authorized by Congress both include library facilities and leverage the nation's 120,000 libraries to make high-speed broadband service available in every corner of America, especially in rural and other underserved communities.
CCLI was co-conceived by Gale, a Cengage company, and the American Library Association, which will provide logistical support for the group. Founding members include Baker & Taylor, bibliotheca, Candlewick Press, Corporate Graphics International, EBSCO Information Services, Encyclopedia Britannica, Findaway, Follett, Gale/Cengage, Information Today, Jamex, Mackin, Macmillan, OverDrive, Peachtree Publishers, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Prendismo, ProQuest, Public Information Kiosk, The RoadRunner Press, Rosen Publishing, SirsiDynix, the American Booksellers Association and the Software and Information Industry Association. CCLI's membership is continuouly updated online at fundlibraries.com. The following comments may be individually attributed to CCLI members as noted:
"The American Booksellers Association strongly supports increased federal funding for America's libraries."
Oren Teich, CEO, American Booksellers Association
"Full funding for the Library Services and Technology Act and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program is critical. In an age of rapid technological innovation, libraries enable citizens to keep pace through easy and affordable access to the internet and other technological resources that help them find jobs, start businesses, and provide skills training necessary for the 21st Century economy."
Ken Wasch, President & CEO, Software and Information Industry Association
"Now more than ever, America's public libraries are reaching deep into all facets of the communities they serve offering patrons vital services that are having a profound impact on their lives."
David Cully, President, Baker & Taylor
"Libraries play a critical role within communities across America, promoting literacy without discrimination and providing educational opportunities that transform lives and fuel lifelong learners. Today's libraries equip citizens with literacy tools and resources that enhance employable skills and stimulate the country's economy."
Matthew Bellamy, Chief Commercial Officer, bibliotheca
"There is nothing more vital to a community than a library. Where else can someone go to expand their thinking and learn about the world around them then this place. A library is more than important—it is vital."
Matt Keller, Capstone Chief Marketing Officer.
"EBSCO has worked with libraries for more than 70 years and understands the value they bring to their communities. CCLI brings together companies who are in a unique position to share concerns about library funding and highlight the impact libraries have on their users."
Tim Collins, President and CEO, EBSCO Information Services
"As schools across the country struggle to curate content and connect students with digital resources, librarians are positioned like never before to play a leadership role in their schools and districts. A great library program is the foundation for a future ready district."
Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions
"Libraries are critical infrastructure in the knowledge economy. Gale supports the Institute of Museum and Library Services and LSTA funding in order to protect private sector jobs and ensure millions of Americans can continue to rely on their state, public, school, and university libraries for the information they need to succeed at school, work and life."
Paul Gazzolo, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Gale, a Cengage company
"At Mackin, we stand together with our colleagues and CCLI, supporting and reinforcing the fact that libraries are essential to the growth of our communities. They must be funded appropriately, as tomorrow's thinkers, leaders and shapers of the future depend on it."
Randal Heise, Owner, Mackin Educational Resources
"Libraries provide a proven economic catalyst for every community in America. They empower our citizens to enter and enhance our workforces, enable businesses to be competitive, and inspire thousands of startups and entrepreneurs every year. America's libraries drive successful outcomes for all of our cities and states."
Steve Potash, CEO & President, OverDrive
"The American public relies on libraries. Schools thrive with them. Communities and economies are strengthened by the services they provide. Let's do the right thing and keep our libraries strong with the federal funding that they so greatly rely on."
Margaret Quinlin, President and Publisher, Peachtree Publishers
"Community and school libraries help ensure that learners of all ages have access to the information they need to succeed in the digital age. They deserve our support."
Tim Bozik, President, Global Product, Pearson
"Federal funding for libraries is critical if Americans in rural and urban communities, both young and old, are to have the materials they need—from books to computers with current software to Internet/broadband access—to find that next job, start that next business, or complete that next level of education. Think of our public libraries as the base on which the engine of our economy sits."
Jeanne Devlin, Publisher, The RoadRunner Press
"Libraries and librarians serve our nation in so many ways: whether providing coding classes for students, job information for job seekers or job changers; online access for those citizens without computers at home, health resources or multi-lingual materials. When the library's doors remain open for business, patrons thrive and our economy prospers."
Roger Rosen, CEO & President, The Rosen Publishing Group
The Corporate Committee for Library Investment(CCLI) is a group of companies and national trade associations working to educate Congress and other federal policymakers about the extraordinary value of federal investment in America's libraries. fundlibraries.com.
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SOURCE American Library Association