COSLA Policy Platform 2024

Federal Funding for Libraries

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services is the largest source of Federal funding for library services in the US. State library agencies receive Grants to States funding to support statewide initiatives and services and may distribute funds through subawards to libraries or consortia, all to the benefit of local libraries and the communities they serve.
COSLA seeks additional funding for libraries through LSTA, with the long-term goal of federal funding for LSTA allocated in the total amount of $1 for every American. Studies show that a $1 investment in libraries yields at least $5 in benefits. Those benefits range from building more resilient communities to creating stronger readers of all ages. Stronger communities and stronger readers create significant economic benefits – both short-term and long-term.

COSLA asks Congress to provide $232 million for LSTA, an increase of $21 million from the $211 million allocated in FY23.

Museum and Library Services Act Reauthorization (MLSA)

MLSA contains the authorizing language for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The 2018 MLSA expires in October 2025.

COSLA asks Congress to support the reauthorization of MLSA in the coming year to assure continued Federal funding for libraries nationwide and to support the activities of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Support for Literacy

Libraries nationwide coordinate programs and resources to increase literacy and biliteracy for children and adults. In addition to reading and textual literacy, libraries support a spectrum of literacies including health, financial, and cyber-literacy.
COSLA encourages legislators to include libraries as key partners in legislation supporting reading and literacy. The first early learning experiences of many children come from story times and books available at their local library. Children who learn to read early in life will meet or exceed 3rd grade reading benchmarks, which is a key indicator for future academic and professional success.

COSLA asks Congress to provide at least $50 million in FY25 to support Innovative Approaches to Literacy.

Broadband as a Human Right

States are on the threshold of investing millions of federal dollars to address existing gaps in broadband service, particularly in rural areas, through the NTIA’s Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD), Middle Mile, and Digital Equity programs. Public libraries in each state are critical catalysts for this type of expansion, as they are often the only source of free access to broadband in their communities.
COSLA asks Congress for continued support of legislation on and investment in programs that expand broadband access and adoption across the US. Such efforts include:

  • Digital equity and digital literacy training
  • Ongoing support and expansion of e-Rate programs
  • Continued advocacy for library participation in Federal broadband and digital equity program in the states


One Pager Version of COSLA's 2024 Policy Priorities (PDF)