FY23 Federal Budget Boosts Funding for Libraries

The $1.7 trillion 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed on December 23 includes substantial increases in federal funding for libraries and schools.

U.S. Capitol buildingThe $1.7 trillion 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed on December 23 includes substantial increases in federal funding for libraries and schools. The budget for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will be increased by $26.8 million to total almost $295 million. From that funding, the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered through IMLS, will see an increase of $13.5 million, boosting LSTA’s budget to $211 million, according to an announcement by the American Library Association (ALA). Funding for LSTA Grants to States will be increased by $11.2 million, and LSTA Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services funding will be increased by $500,000. Separately, the Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy program will receive a $1 million increase, bringing its annual budget to $30 million in support of K–12 school library literacy initiatives nationwide.

ALA President Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada praised the funding increases in a statement, saying that ALA “is proud to see continued strong support for libraries and library funding at the highest levels of government. Members of Congress understand that investing in libraries means investing in communities—the significant library funding measures in this budget reflect that. Across the country, libraries are delivering for their patrons, providing vital access to information and services that help them thrive and succeed. Increased funding will sustain and expand these efforts, and ALA applauds Congress for recognizing the many ways libraries are empowering and uplifting their communities, whether through digital skills workshops, literacy programs, or even career-training.”

ALA will begin its annual #FundLibraries advocacy campaign for federal funding for libraries next year at the start of the appropriations process. Additional information is available at ala.org/advocacy/library-funding.

In related news, the National Endowment for the Humanities will see its budget increased by $27 million, to total $207 million in 2023. The National Archives and Records Administration will see an increase of $39.2 million, to total $427.5 million next year, while the Library of Congress will receive an increase of more than $36 million, bringing its total budget to $875.45 million. The Smithsonian Institution will receive an additional $83 million, boosting its budget to $1.145 billion for its 19 museums, the National Zoo, and its network of research facilities.

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Matt Enis



Matt Enis (matthewenis.com) is Senior Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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