The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the $2 trillion CARES Act (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, a sweeping economic stimulus package which includes significant funding for libraries, schools, and the arts.
Specifically, the package includes $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for digital inclusion projects, $75 million each for the National Endowments for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a hefty $30.8 billion in relief for schools and colleges.
The bill is now heading to President Trump to be signed into law.
“At a time when Americans are searching for a way forward, it gives me comfort to know that the library field has our eyes on the horizon," American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Brown said in a statement. "Libraries are poised to lead during this unprecedented time of increased reliance on digital connectivity and will continue to do so when communities begin to recover. Funding through the CARES Act will certainly help to safeguard the services we offer, as well as library facilities and workers across the nation."
In recent weeks, the ALA has been advocating for funding in the package, and in a release asked that library supporters remain engaged and "sustain the momentum, especially as the next package takes shape."