Hurd Champions 120,000 Public Libraries Across the Country

October 1, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23) joined Reps. Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Leonard Lance (NJ-07) and David McKinley (WV-01) to introduce a bipartisan bill to ensure the continued success of libraries and museums across the nation. The Museum and Library Services Act (H.R. 6988) renews federal museum and library grant funding programs administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, of which Texas public libraries receive nearly $11 million in federal assistance each year. Similar bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

“Our public libraries, especially in rural areas, go far beyond simply providing books. They serve as the primary provider of literacy programming, technology training and job seeking assistance in many communities I represent across South and West Texas,” said Hurd, who represents more than one hundred public libraries, college libraries and school districts in the 23rd District of Texas. “The grant funding authorized through this bill directly serves libraries across our state and is vital for their continued success. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to ensure South and West Texans can continue to access quality educational resources.”

“Libraries are centers of community life, providing opportunities for millions of Texans to discover their passion, and pursue education and career goals. On behalf of the Texas Library Association’s more than 6,000 members, we’d like to thank Representative Hurd and Senator Reed for supporting our libraries, and for their leadership on the reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act,” said Dana Braccia, Executive Director of the Texas Library Association.

“We thank Representative Hurd and Senator Reed for their leadership in support of the important work of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the thousands of libraries across the United States,” said Mark Smith, Librarian and Director of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. “The Museum and Library Services Act will help state library agencies like ours in all states and territories continue to bring excellent library services to all communities.

“Libraries and museums ensure access to information for millions of adults and children across the country, and I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to promote their growth, expand their services, and safeguard these critical institutions for generations to come,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to ensure libraries and museums have the necessary resources to modernize their services and solidify their role as the technological hubs of communities across the country.”

“Libraries and museums are anchor institutions for their communities, and we need to do all we can to support them in their mission.  The Museum and Library Services Act represents our national commitment to ensuring these institutions are funded, staffed, and accessible to all.  Through a relatively modest federal investment, this law helps build capacity to support and expand access to library and museum services at the state and local level.  It will help fully leverage the role of libraries and museums in supporting the learning, educational, and workforce development needs of Americans nationwide,” said Senator Reed.

“Libraries and museums enrich our communities, engage Americans of all ages in continued learning, increase economic opportunities, and sustain our values and cultures.  The Museum and Library Services Act will help to strengthen the already amazing libraries and museums across Alaska,” said Senator Murkowski.  “As a cosponsor of the Senate version of this bill, I commend Representative Hurd for his efforts to help diverse libraries and museums advance and to further enable the professionals and volunteers who dedicate their energies to these institutions.”

“From offering job search resources and free Internet access to exposing children and families to literary and educational experiences, libraries and museums serve vital roles in our communities,” said Senator Collins. “The Museum and Library Services Act would bolster our commitment to supporting these institutions that enrich our communities.  I urge my colleagues to join this effort to improve and update programs that help libraries and museums across Maine and the United States.”