Shuttered libraries and the many groups that need them are calling on Congress to set aside COVID-19 aid money specifically to help those hard-hit services.
In a letter to bipartisan House and Senate leadership, the American Library Association joined by dozens of fans including the American Federation of Teachers, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and NTCA-the Rural Broadband Association, and more than 30 others, asked that Congress set aside $2 billion for "fiscal stabilization" for workers and to support distance learning and telework.
They said that libraries employ almost 370,000 people and generate billions in economic activity annually including buying $4 billion worth of books. They pointed out that 92% of their budget comes from local and state revenues, which have declined dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis.
They said north of a hundred legislators have already expressed their support for library relief.