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Mr. GAINES. Absolutely.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I note, also, though you did not say it in your statement, that in the position paper of the Conference on Library Funding you quote Robert Wedgeworth, executive director of the ALA, saying that only 1 percent of general Federal revenue shares has gone toward the support of libraries.
Could you expand on that point, as well as on the related point you made in your own statement that general revenue sharing does not reach libraries in any significant amounts?
Perhaps you could comment from the viewpoint of Cleveland or indeed from the viewpoint of the 22 cities in your council.
Mr. Gaines. I could say with respect to Cleveland, we have received no Federal revenue sharing money. Cleveland, as you know, is in serious condition, and the city is not about to share any of that money with the library.
The American Library Association did collect some data, which, I believe, was submitted to this committee, verifying and supporting Mr. Wedgeworth's statement.
Any figures that I have seen indicate that not more than 1 percent of the revenue sharing money has gone to libraries and most of it has been replacement money.
I was talking the other day to the director of libraries in Philadelphia. He said they received something like $13 million over the last 2 or 3 years, but all of the local money was reduced by a similar amount, and hence, the effect was zero.
Mr. BRADEMAS. To return to the question of State aid, is that a problem in Ohio? Does Ohio give State aid for its local libraries?
Mr. GAINEs. I think Ohio is not a very good example, because libraries are fairly well supported in Ohio through the unique institution known as the intangible tax. And I really think you should look to other States.
I am sure the State of Ohio feels that it does support libraries because through State legislation this tax on intangible income does go to libraries, but it is a unique State.
But, yes, I think that the State aid to libraries can be stimulated if, as a quid pro quo for receiving Federal aid, the States must put up something in order to receive the money.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Finally, Dr. Gaines, in light of the difficulties which have been experienced by New York City in meeting its financial problems, are you saying generally that the financial plight of many large cities is felt significantly by libraries? In that connection, I think I am right in saying that you in Cleveland had a unique situation in making up a deficit, did you not?
Mr. Gaines. We had a tax levy referendum in November, and we won.
I would say that Cleveland at the moment is not one of the libraries I am talking about that is in need of Federal aid.
I think, again, we are in a unique situation. Cleveland now has about $16 per capita to support its libraries, and the average around the United States is only somewhere between $1 and $5. If that is the average, you must believe that many, many cities are below $4 per capita, and you cannot run a library service that is worthwhile on that kind of money.
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Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you very much, Dr. Gaines. This has been a most helpful statement.
Next we are pleased to hear from Alphonse F. Trezza.
STATEMENT OF ALPHONSE F. TREZZA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
Mr. TREZZA. My name is Alphonse F. Trezza, executive director, of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.
The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, a permanent and independent agency, is charged under Public Law 91-345 with developing and recommending to the Congress and the President overall national plans for libraries and information services and for the coordination of activities at the Federal, State and local levels to meet the library and informational needs of the Nation. In addition, the Commission is authorized to advise Federal agencies regarding library and information services.
In May of this year the NCLIS officially adopted and transmitted to the Congress and the President its national program document "Toward a National Program for Library and Information Services: Goals for Action." This document is a long-range program for the development of an integrated national network of libraries and information services to meet the immediate and foreseeable information requirements of the greatest possible number of people. The Commission will continue to concentrate its efforts in the years ahead on this ideal:
To eventually provide every individual in the United States with equal opportunity of access to that part of the total information resource which will satisfy the individual's educational, working, cultural and leisure time needs and interests, regardless of the individual's location, social or physical condition or level of intellectual achievement.
To make progress toward the attainment of this goal, the Commission has developed two major program objectives: (1) To strengthen, develop, or create where needed, human and material resources which are supportive of high quality library and information services; and (2) to join together the library and information facilities in the country, through a common pattern of organization, uniform standards, and shared communications, to form a nationwide network. Such a program must have incentives strong enough to encourage maximum cooperation and participation, not only by States and local governments, but by interested public and private agencies as well.
The Federal Government would have responsibility for aiding in the development of compatible State and multistate networks, furthering common practices, performing relevant research and development, increasing coordination between the private and public sectors. improving access to the information resources of Federal agencies, and performing other relevant functions.
National goals in the field of library and information service cannot be achieved unless there is careful articulation between local, State,
multistate, and national planning. It is the Commission's view that each of these levels in the nationwide program should bear its share of the total financial burden. For example, the Federal Government would fund those aspects of the network which support national objectives, and stimulate statewide and multistate library development needed to support the national program. The State government would accept the major share of the cost of coordinating and of supporting the intrastate components of the network, as well as part of the cost of participating in multistate planning operations. Each State must recognize its responsibility to develop and sustain its own statewide program of library and information service. Such a program must commit the State to provide funding or matching funding for development of resources and services, including special forms of statewide network assistance and specialized services.
Responsibility for fostering the coordination of library resources and services throughout a State has usually been assigned to a State library agency or to another agency with the same legal authority and functions. This agency is the natural focus for statewide planning and coordination of cooperative library and information services and for coordinating statewide plans with those of the Federal Government. Such agencies must solicit the widest possible participation of library, information, and user communities.
Several States such as Illinois, New York, and Washington already have operational systems or networks which are in harmony with the Commission's program. The 50 States, however, must make a firm commitment to continuing support and funding of library and information activities at a level commensurate with the needs of their constituents.
Proposed Federal legislation in support of library and information services must recognize that the States are at varying stages of developing their services; some States have not yet initiated plans, and others are in the early stages of planning, while still others are already implementing sophisticated programs. Some States have net works organized by type of library, others have networks that include all types of libraries, and still others have networks that include information agencies as well as libraries.
Federal-State funding formulas must, therefore, be devised which will take into account these differences among the States and provide the means for supporting various levels of development.
Funding: Beginning in 1956, with the passage of the Library Services Act by the Congress, the Federal Government has gradually assumed responsibility for programs of financial assistance to libraries. There are some who view the continued financial support of libraries by the Federal Government with alarm, because of the inferred fear that the bureaucracy will, sooner or later, stifle intellectual freedom.
Certainly, the availability of Government money for libraries during the past 20 years disproves this theory. The Commission believes that the American public not only accepts the principle of Federal funding for libraries, but also equates it with the Federal responsibility for public education.
In 1973, the administration recommended the elimination of Federal grant programs for libraries. It recommended revenue sharing as an alternative method of supporting libraries, and the General Revenue Sharing Act qualified libraries to receive appropriations for operating expenses.
The preponderance of testimony to the Commission indicates that the revenue sharing mechanism does not work well for libraries. The revenue-sharing mechanism is unsatisfactory for libraries because it forces them to compete for funds with local governments and their utilitarian agencies, such as the police and fire departments.
As educational agents in the community, libraries provide longrange services to all people, but, unfortunately, it is difficult to justify this as a local priority when conspicuous utilitarian problems need immediate correction. As a result, city officials in some cities are reluctant to share some revenue with libraries.
Indications received by the Commission thus far reveal that, in some localities, revenue-sharing money is offsetting normal operating budgets of libraries, rather than providing them with funds for new programs and services. In such circumstances, it is unlikely that revenuesharing funds will have any impact at all on cooperative action programs or intersystem planning.
Recent actions by the Congress have restored appropriations for many of the categorical aid programs which were eliminated, but the policy of the administration continues to favor their eventual termination. The C.S. Comptroller, Elmer B. Staats, has stated that an effective Federal fiscal policy requires a mix of funding programs-categorical grants, block grants, revenue sharing, and tax expenditure.
Categorical grants serve the purpose of dealing with designated problems of national concern in a specific and uniform manner, and with maximum involvement of State and local governments. Such grants are particularly valuable for research and demonstration activities and when the overriding objective is to prescribe a minimum level of service.
The National Commission is firmly committed to the continuation of categorical grants as part of the national program. Although past Federal funding achieved many worthwhile objectives, the results fell short of the original goals, and much more remains to be done. The proposed national program would coordinate and reinforce all Federal efforts to support local and specialized services and, at the same time, provide a national framework for planned, systematic growth of library and information services in the public and private sector.
As part of its activities, the Commission has just funded a study to evaluate the magnitude and effectiveness of Federal funding for libraries under LSCA and the fiscal impact of general revenue sharing on libraries. The outcome and recommendations of the study will be available late in 1976, and will serve as the basis for further recommendations on the Federal role in the funding of public libraries.
Recommendations: The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, at its September 1975 meeting, passed a resolution which strongly urges the continuation of LSCA as a basic component of Federal funding for public libraries. The Commission, however. equally strongly urges the revision of LSCA.
The recommended revisions deal with the problems and weaknesses that have developed in the administration of LSCA at both the State and Federal level over the past 20 years. LSCA has been a most effective program. Its cost benefit cannot be doubted, but good responsible planning and evaluation requires us to be candid, to recognize our weaknesses, and, more importantly, to recognize the means to correct deficiencies.
We must have an extension of LSCA-it must be revised the program must be forward funded at an effective level. LSCA, title III, funds must be increased; attention to the funding problem of urban libraries must be dealt with on a fair and equitable basis.
The Commission's recommended revisions and funding levels are as follows:
(a) Revise the act to insure that Federal funds will not be substituted for State funds nor used as a substitute for adequate State support for the function of the State library agency. Provide a limitation on expenditures by_State library agencies of 10 percent for administrative purposes—I see that is one we all agree on.
(6) LSCA, title I, funds be matched by State appropriations only.
(c) Statutory time limitation on the irse of LSCA funds for the State administration of LSCA insuring that more LSCA funds are distributed to eligible libraries—we have the problem where some States will carry over their funds too many years, not making them available on the year or two that it was intended.
(d) Assurance of an equitable distribution of LSCA, title I, funds to support the strengthening of urban public libraries.
(e) Administration and fiscal provisions of LSCA to be structured to strengthen, stimulate, and require State and local support.
(1) Merger of title III of LSCA and the multitype Library Partnership Act providing for the establishment of a local-State-Federal partnership program for the purpose of encouraging and sustaining an adequate system of libraries.
(9) Revise LSCA to include provisions for forward funding to help resolve the recurring problems of uncertainty, late allocations, and other administrative problems which interfere with effective planning at the national, State, and local level.
(h) The funding level for fiscal year 1977 for LSCA, title I, be at a level not less than the fiscal year 1976 appropriation; title II at a minimum level of $9 million; title III, including the Library Partnership Act, at a minimum level of $15 million; title IV, Older American Services, at a minimum level of $2 million, and.
(i) That there be a reexamination of the authorized level of funding and the national priorities specified in LSCA and of the requirements for effective long-range planning.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before you and to share the Commission's thinking with you in keeping with our legal responsibility of advising the Congress on problems, programs and legislative action in the area of library and information services.
[The prepared statement of Alphonse F. Trezza follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ALPHONSE F. TREZZA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL
COMMISSION ON LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION SCIENCE My name is Alphonse F. Trezza, Executive Director, of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.
The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, a permanent and independent agency, is charged under Public Law 91-345 with developing and recommending to the Congress and the President overall national plans for