COSLA $1 per Capita Campaign

Since 2018 COSLA has been advancing the position that Federal funding for libraries should be allocated at a rate equal to $1 per capita.

Resolution adopted by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies on December 21, 2018 in Support of $1 per Capita Funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services Grants to States Program

WHEREAS, Libraries are essential to democracy by fostering lifelong education, self-empowerment, economic opportunity, and community sustainability, and

WHEREAS, Libraries unite people, encourage civic engagement, and promote respectful discourse in every congressional district in our country, and

WHEREAS, Libraries serve all members of their communities in times of need, including as a digital safety net for those without Internet, or as an essential service during disaster or economic recovery, and

WHEREAS, Libraries fill a vital role by serving as the local outlet for many state and federal services, and

WHEREAS, Americans log over 1.3 billion library visits and borrow over 2.2 billion items from libraries every year, and

WHEREAS, For more than 50 years, America’s federal funding for libraries has supported greater access to information for many millions of Americans and improved library services in thousands of communities in every state, and

WHEREAS, Federal funding for our nation’s libraries has remained flat for more than 20 years despite the steeply rising cost of meeting the public’s need for robust library resources, services, and technology, and

WHEREAS, The Institute of Museum and Library Services currently allocates $164 million to support state-based library services, or about .00004 percent of the total federal budget, and

WHEREAS, State library agencies in every state are ideally situated to determine funding priorities in individual state and communities, and

WHEREAS, State library agencies coordinate statewide services, connect libraries with state and federal programs, provide funding and resources to enhance local library services, and create economies of scale to advance library services in their states, and

WHEREAS, The IMLS Grants to States program provides a reliable, predictable source of funding via state library agencies to create and sustain statewide library services and programs, and therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, representing every state library agency in the U.S., urges Congress to invest in the nation’s education and economy by increasing the LSTA Grants to States program to $325 million per year, or one dollar for every American.