Businesses Unite to Fight for Library Funding

ALA applauds efforts of new group

May 17, 2017

CCLI logo

The American Library Association (ALA) hailed the May 17 unveiling of the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI), a group organized to advocate for federal library funding. Comprising CCLI are more than two dozen leading information, software, publishing, and other businesses as well as multiple national trade associations.

In a May 17 statement, ALA President Julie B. Todaro praised CCLI, saying, “It’s thrilling to see such significant companies and associations across so many industries come together to fight alongside ALA and librarians for federal library funding.” She added that “libraries mean business,” and that working with CCLI can help ensure “that law- and policymakers fully understand American libraries’ tremendous value to communities and economies in every corner of the country.”

On May 17, CCLI delivered a letter to all US Senators asking them to sign Dear Appropriator letters calling for $186.6 million in FY2018 funding for programs under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. LSTA funding goes primarily to a population-based matching grant program that allows states to allocate how federal funds are spent. IAL allows school libraries and nonprofit groups to buy books and educational materials for the nation’s neediest children.

CCLI’s stated goals also include working to rapidly reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act, which created LSTA, and ensuring that any infrastructure investments authorized by Congress also 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 coconceived by Gale, a Cengage company, and ALA, which will provide logistical support for the group. Founding members include the American Booksellers Association, Baker & Taylor, bibliotheca, Candlewick Press, Corporate Graphics International, EBSCO Information Services, Encyclopedia Britannica, Findaway, Follett, Information Today, Jamex, Mackin, Macmillan, OverDrive, Peachtree Publishers, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Prendismo, ProQuest, Public Information Kiosk, The RoadRunner Press, Rosen Publishing, SirsiDynix, and the Software and Information Industry Association.