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projects, books by mail for people in remote areas, that sort of thing, in title I.
In the next breath, they are proposing to consolidate LSCA with several other programs, including urban development block grants, health programs, a variety of things, up to the extent of $15 billion to $20 billion to turn it over to the Governors in a block grant to give them maximum flexibility.
So as I say, we would urge the committee, who has been so generous to libraries and library users over the last many years, to reject this budget, and to continue funding for the programs that exist.
Attached to my testimony is a budget page that reflects our recommendations in contrast to the funding in the past year, and what the administration is asking. It is focused all on one page for your convenience.
I would like to point out that we also support, as one of the earlier witnesses for the Council of Chief State School Officers, the title II School Library Program, which is a consolidated program and, I must say, gives very little to school libraries since it has been consolidated, but it is one of our dreads in having block grants that libraries are always struggling in competition for too few dollars when there are many other needs like the needs you heard just this morning.
We have a literacy title in LSCA, but it is one that the administration has chosen to ignore, in contrast to turning over the funds to a block grant.
One of our most important programs is the Higher Education Act title II, which helps to give libraries materials to encourage greater sharing of materials, and to provide them with some technical assistance hardware-so that they can take advantage of some of the newer ways of facilitating access to information.
But I would say, given a choice, the most important program is the title II-B library education, research, and demonstration, because we are beginning to notice a great shortage of librarians and educators of librarians for the future. It is tragic to think that the rest of the world is learning we are in an information age at the very time you are beginning to read University of Maryland is thinking of cutting back on their program, Columbia University, and many of the other schools around the country.
There is an urgent need for minority people to be recruited into the library field. And educators in general who, by the year 2000, will be retiring to the extent of about 50 percent of the library school faculty.
I want to thank the committee particularly, and you, Senator Burdick, Senator Harkin, because of your funding and your faith in the White House conference process. We are anticipating a great opportunity for visibility for the users' needs of libraries around the country, and it is taking place July 9 to 13 here in Washington.
[The statement follows:]
STATEMENT OF EILEEN D. COOKE, Associate Executive Director, AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
Good morning, I am Eileen Cooke, Director of the American Library Association's Washington office. We appreciate the opportunity to testify before you this morning. The American Library Association, a nonprofit educational organization of more than 52,000 librarians, trustees, educators, and other friends of libraries dedicated to the improvement of library services, is dismayed by the President's budget for fiscal year 1992 library programs.
The Administration's fiscal year 1992 budget proposal is yet another attempt to eliminate federal library programs. The budget requests a cut of over 75 percent in Department of Education library programs from the $143 million appropriated last year to $35 million.
This $35 million would be available for only one program, the Library Services and Construction Act title I for public library services. But LSCA I is found to be too flexible, and the $35 million would be available for only one of the several authorized LSCA I purposes-adult literacy activities (requiring a change in the law). However, a program which is targeted solely to library literacy projects, LSCA VI, would be zeroed out, as would be all other LSCA and Higher Education Act title II library programs.
This $35 million under LSCA I would then be combined with $15-20 billion in other programs for turnover to the governors. In this proposed new block grant, governors would have great flexibility to spend the funds for such big ticket items as community development funding and administrative expenses for welfare programs, giving the small library program practically no chance for survival.
The Administration requested $39 million last year, but earmarked it for ISCA III interlibrary cooperation, LSCA VI literacy projects, and Higher Education Act library programs. While the total is similar, this year's proposal is neither consistent nor well thought out, and the logic of first restricting a program and then block granting it is mystifying.
ALA appreciates the Subcommittee's strong support of libraries, and asks that you once again reject the Administration's drastic reductions. The attached summary of ALA's appropriation recommendations indicates the full list of programs under your jurisdiction which provide direct benefits to libraries.
Librarians have always been in the forefront in providing literacy programs, materials, space for students and tutors, and would be the last group to deny the importance of literacy programs, but LSCA in its entirety covers a broad scope of activities which reach many populations. Targeting Title I only to adult literacy would deny that access to children, adults, and senior citizens as well as the newly literate. In the words of the New Hampshire state librarian, "literacy without good public libraries does not seem to make much sense, nor does it seem likely."
In this recession year, with state budgets hard hit by revenue shortfalls, LSCA funding is especially crucial. Pennsylvania reports that without LSCA funds the film center which distributes films and videocassettes to over 500,000 people in the state will close; special projects for disadvantaged populations such as the elderly in Allegheny county, at-risk children in Norristown and Pittsburgh, limited English speaking residents of Philadelphia and hard to reach rural residents of Columbia County, will be canceled; and projects to link libraries for resource sharing will end.
Partially rural states like West Virginia, Nevada, or Alaska, which depend heavily on interlibrary loan and other shared resources to reach people in sparsely settled or hard to reach areas would be unable to support their books by mail programs without LSCA. Small rural libraries which depend on state or regional libraries for interlibrary loans, cataloging and reference support would be severely impacted.
The dollar leveraging effects of LSCA I and II cannot be overestimated. Federal funds continue to stimulate and enhance local fundraising efforts. Without Title II, construction in almost every state in the country would stop. Title II covers retrofitting for the handicapped to meet the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act: renovation for new technology, as well as new branch construction and shoring up old historic buildings. Is there still need for Title II dollars? Idaho alone has plans for 129 building projects during the next five years—20 libraries plan to replace present buildings, 24 to add needed spaces, while 25 plan projects to improve access for the physically handicapped and 60 major remodel and repair projects are also planned. LSCĂ II funds in this state, as in most, are used for the most pressing needs other requests have to wait. Every state reports many more requests than possible to fill.
The state librarian from Connecticut makes the point that new construction equals jobs-"Knowing that a small construction project with a total cost of approxi
mately $300,000 generates 80 jobs, proves that the LSCA Title II funds make a very significant impact in the area of employment."
The Hawkins/Stafford Elementary/Secondary School Improvement Act, ESEA Chapter II program of block grants would also be re-directed in the President's budget, with half of the grant amount dedicated to states to encourage local adoption of educational choice programs. This re-targetting of half of the grant would further reduce school libraries chances of obtaining funding for materials and purchase of computers for student use. This program is authorized at $672,000,000 and the Administration recommends $462,577,000 for the program. ALA recommends funding at $500,000,000.
As you know, the Higher Education Act is scheduled for reauthorization this year. Programs zeroed out in the budget request such as the HEA title II library programs would not be part of the Administration's HEA reauthorization proposal. The II-B library career training program, however, is proposed for transfer to a graduate fellowship consolidation of six programs requiring new legislation. The Secretary would have discretion to set funding priorities for this consolidation each year.
ALA recommends reauthorization of title II with a new name, “Academic Libraries in an Electronic Networked Environment," to reflect the changing roles of libraries and librarians in response to new ways of providing information. ALA also recommends that the current II-A grants for college library resources (unfunded since fiscal year 1983) be deleted and replaced with an updated II-D technology assistance program. The HEA II-B program of research and education and the II-C grants to major research libraries should be continued with some amendments.
Since authorizing subcommittees have just begun hearings, ALA recommends fiscal year 1992 appropriations for HEA programs based on current law.
As we focus on the themes of the upcoming White House Conference-Library and Information Services for democracy, literacy and productivity-and see reflected in the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe the same wish for a strong, skilled and continuing free society, we can look to libraries to help improve our nation. We look forward to the exchange of information and increased focus on libraries which will result from the White House Conference and we especially thank you, Senator Harkin, for your leadership in providing funding for the conference.
Libraries and library programs provide services to members of communities across the country-access to new worlds of information, new skills, and new enjoyment and intellectual stimulation for those taking the first shaky steps into reading as well as those who stride sure-footed through the latest treatise on outer space. Almost every writer speaks of the library as the place where imagination first begins to soar. For some, the library is the only safe home they know. The Iowa State librarian said that with many school closings in small towns and consolidation into larger regional schools, the library is providing that sense of community identity which local schools used to provide, a social sense of place. Thank you for your support of libraries.
Summary of American Library Association Appropriations Recommendations
for FY 1992 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations
42 USC 275
FY92 ALA Recommendation
National Library of Medicine
(including Medical Library Assistance Act)
"For HEA II. ALA recommends amounts authorized for FY 1987.
"Part of a proposed consolidation of several graduate fellowship programs with Secretary setting priorities for each year. 'The six targeted uses of Chapter 2 funds include school library resources and training of librarians.
Senator BURDICK. Thank you. What can you tell me about the effectiveness of the current library literacy program?
Ms. COOKE. I think it has been tremendously effective. It is title VI of the Library Services and Construction Act. It came into being in 1984 and has been funded at rather minimal level. In the past year the funding was put up to over $5 million, and we are in hopes, when the act is extended again in the future, that that amount will be doubled at least.
Listening to the previous witness talking about the need for foreign languages, there is a great need there, but it also ties in with literacy. If people are not literate, cannot read, it has an impact on the jobs, it has an impact on the cost to this country and welfare payments, people who wind up in jail instead of in a job.
Senator BURDICK. Thank you.
Ms. COOKE. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF SHARON WANAT, BOARD OF TRUSTEES, D.E.B.R.A. OF
ACCOMPANIED BY MR. MUMBER
Senator BURDICK. Ms. Sharon Wanat, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Mumber, of the D.E.B.R.A. of America.
Ms. WANAT. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. My name is Sharon Wanat, and I a member of the board of trustees of the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association, which is also known as D.E.B.R.A. of American.
This morning with me I have Mr. Mumber from New Town, PA, who is a parent and would like to speak to you briefly after my testimony.
I am here to speak to you on behalf of the more than 50,000 infants, children, and adults who suffer from epidermolysis bullosa. Epidermolysis bullosa [EB] is a group of inherited diseases in which an unknown defect in the skin causes painful blistering and wounds. The cycle of repeated blistering and inadequate healing to fragile skin can lead to scars which form over the entire body surface, as well as in the mouth, throat, eyes, and other internal organs.
This is a disease that severely affects the quality and duration of life. It is disfiguring, severely disabling, and very often fatal. People find it unbelievable that a skin disease can be fatal; however, most infants with the junctional form of EB do indeed die before their first birthday. Others with the severe forms of recessive dystrophic disease die in early childhood. Patients that do reach adulthood are locked in a malnourished, childlike body, with little hope of reaching an adult's normal physical stature or maturation. The progressive nature of the disfigurement and the disability makes independent living for an adult a rare event.
Since 1981, when D.E.B.R.A. first came to Congress, the support of this committee has been outstanding. Your support has dramatically increased the amount of money being spent on EB research, and we are very grateful. I am pleased to report that NIAMS is presently supporting several research projects on EB, and although there is no clear breakthrough, there is some significant progress.
In 1986 the national EB registry was created by this committee. Since then, over 1,500 patients have been enrolled. The registry