Committee Approves Bill to Support Libraries and Museums
The Museum and Library Services Act, introduced by Select Education Subcommittee
Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and Rep. Tim Roemer (D-IN), modifies and streamlines
current law to strengthen museum and library services. The bill also ensures
that library services are coordinated with activities under the No Child
Left Behind Act that President Bush signed into law on January 8, 2002.
The bill authorizes $300 million for libraries in FY 2003, $50 million for museums
in FY 2003 and such sums for both libraries and museums in FYs 2004-2008.
First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian, supports reauthorization of the
Museum and Library Services Act.
“H.R. 3784 continues the main objectives of the Museum and Library Services
Act of 1996,” said Hoekstra. “The reauthorization bill will maintain the modest
but essential federal support, in partnership with state, local, private, and
public sources, for museum and library contributions to public education services
and stewardship of the nation’s cultural heritage collections. “It will fund
the one federal agency-the Institute of Museum and Library Services-devoted
exclusively to museums and libraries, which are natural partners with our nation’s
schools, and it will sustain provisions to encourage model cooperation between
museums and libraries as no other legislation does,”Hoekstra said.
The MLSA bill introduced by Hoekstra and Roemer makes several modifications
to current law to streamline and strengthen museum and library services. The
- Ensures that library activities are coordinated with activities under the
No Child Left Behind Act that President Bush signed into law on January
- Eliminates references to the National Commission on Libraries and Information
Science and consolidates its advisory responsibilities under the Museum Services
Board, which will expand to include library services. The purpose of this
change is to consolidate museum and library board activities under one statute;
- Authorizes the Institute of Museum and Library Services Director to grant
a National Award for Library Service and a National Award for Museum Service;
- Ensures that administrative funds are also used to conduct annual analyses
to identify needs and trends of services provided under museum and library
- Increases the minimum state allotment for library programs to $500,000 (roughly
a 46 percent increase from current law).