[Libs-Or] Fwd: [District Dispatch] ALA Creates One-Stop Source for Stimulus Information

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 18 00:29:08 PST 2009

 ALA Creates One-Stop Source for Stimulus Information
<http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1966> February 17th, 2009 |

Completing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a long and arduous
process for the Obama Administration and the new Congress. Now that
President Obama has signed the bill into law, our nation can begin the
journey of restoring our economic stability through the programs and
initiatives this law will make possible.

Throughout the process of creating this law, the library community
demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the American public by working to
inform our leaders in Washington about the programs and services libraries
across the country are providing to help America get back to work, such as
assistance with resume building and online job searching as well as free
classes to teach the public 21st century job skills.

With many opportunities available to libraries through the stimulus bill,
the library community must continue our efforts to educate our elected
officials on the benefits of investing in libraries – focusing now on the
state level.

Implementing the law will no doubt be as complex a process as creating it,
and for this reason the ALA Washington Office has created
www.ala.org/knowyourstimulus as a one-stop source with resources on how to
make sure libraries benefit from the package and the most up-to-date
information on the stimulus. As information becomes available, the ALA
Washington Office will post updates on this page with details, such as how
funding will be distributed and how to apply.

We have compiled a list of the programs that libraries can benefit from
included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More information
will be posted on each section as it becomes available.

*$7.2 billion for Broadband *
This includes $2.5 billion for Rural Utilities Service and $4.7 billion for
the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA)
broadband grant program to increase broadband access and usage in
underserved areas of the nation. This includes $200 million in competitive
grants for expanding public computer capacity at public libraries and
community college libraries.  Additionally, this includes $650 million for
DTV, of which $90 million may be used by organizations, including libraries,
for education and outreach to vulnerable populations including one-on-one
assistance for box installation.

*$53.6 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund*
This program includes $48 billion in block grants allocated among the
states.  Out of each state's allocation, 81.8 percent is reserved for
education and 18.2 percent is reserved for the governor to use as he or she
sees fit. $39.5 billion for education using existing funding formulas, which
can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school
modernization (school libraries will benefit from this), or other purposes
and $8.8 billion for state fiscal relief for high-priority needs such as
public safety and other critical services (including public libraries),
renovation and repairs of public school facilities and institutions of
higher education facilities.  Encouraging state officials to invest the
funds they receive from Congress in public and school libraries will be
critical. It is also important to note that with the billions of dollars
states are receiving, there should be no need for drastic state cutbacks in

*An additional $120 million for the Senior Community Service Employment
This funding will provide community service jobs at nonprofit and public
facilities, including libraries, for an additional 24,000 older Americans.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program is a community service and
work-based training program for older workers. Program participants are
placed in a wide variety of community service positions at non-profit and
public facilities, including daycare centers, senior centers, governmental
agencies, schools, hospitals, libraries and landscaping centers. There are
currently 74 grantees. Grant awards are made to 18 national nonprofit
organizations and 56 state and territorial governments. In most states, the
governor has selected the State Office on Aging to administer the program.
The contact information for all existing grantees is available by going to
www.doleta.gov/seniors. Click the contacts link on the right and on that
page go to grantees PY 2007.
An additional $130 million for the Rural Community Facilities Program*
The Community Programs is a division of the Housing and Community Facilities
Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture.  Community Programs
includes the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, the Community
Facilities Direct Loan Program, and the Community Facilities Grant Program.
These programs help develop essential community facilities for public use in
rural areas. These facilities include schools, libraries, childcare,
hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue
stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and

Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director
ALA Washington Office
esheketoff at ala.wash.org <esheketoff at alawash.org>

Diedre Conkling
diedre08 at gmail.com
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