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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.
ROLE OF THE STATES
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 a 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.
If this type of quid pro quo philosophy were adopted, and if incentive formulae were worked out to make local, state, multistate, and national financing mutually reinforcing, then a nationwide network could grow from the bottom up. To achieve this goal, however, requires that the responsibilities of the various levels be well defined, that financial obligations be clearly recognized and that legal commitments be made possible through appropriate statutes. Some states may decide to provide funding for the further development of library and information services within the state, while other states may elect to share funding with local governments.
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 er networks which are in harmony with the Commission's program. The fifty 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.
State library agencies have a major role to play in the development of a nationwide program of library and information service. Many of these agencies now serve a significant planning and coordinating function in their respective states or in a multistate coniplex. Therefore, they should be considered partners by the Federal Government in developing and supporting useful patterns of service. Ainong the benefits which could accrue from such a partnership are greater possibilities for compatible programs and sustained funding through mutually-supportive efforts.
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 networks 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 formulae must, therefore, be devised which will take into account these differences among the states and provide the means for supporting various levels of developments.
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, stitle intellectual freedom. Certainly, the availability of government money for libraries during the past twenty 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.
Federal assistance programs for libraries have been for the acquisition of materials, the provision of new services, library training and research, new building construction, aid to special groups, and so forth. They have affected public libraries, school libraries, college and university libraries. A small portion of the funds under Title III of LSCA have also been available for interlibrary cooperation. For Fiscal 1976, the total sum in the Federal budget for library grant programs amounts to $218 million.
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 qualitied 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 communtiy, libraries provide long-range 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 revenue sharing 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 U.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 twenty 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. Urban public libraries are a basic part of any state library network, but they must not be the tail to wag the dog.
The Commission's recommended revisions and funding levels are as follows:
(a) Revise the Act to ensure 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.
(0) LSCA, Title I, funds be matched by state appropriations only.
(c) Statutory time limitation on the use of LSCA funds for the state administration of LSCA ensuring that more LSCA funds are distributed to eligible libraries.
(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.
(f) 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 and for the further development of networks which extend and expand the use of the resources of school, public, academic, and special libraries and information centers.
(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 FY 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 re-examination of the authorized level of funding and the national priorities specified in LSCA and of the requirements for effective longrange 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.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you very much. First, let me commend you and the members of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science for clearly having taken so seriously your legislative mandate by addressing yourselves to substantive problems and offering concrete recommendations with respect to them.
I would also say that we shall look forward to seeing that study in late 1976, and if I am still chairman of this subcommittee, I assure you
that we will want you to come up and present the study and hold a hearing on it so that members of the Commission can have a chance to describe their recommendations and to hear the questions of members of the committee.
Of course, I would hope that the new President, however he or she may prove to be, will study whatever recommendations your Commission produces.
I have two or three questions, Mr. Trezza.
Could you comment on the relationship between the National Commission and the White House Conference on Library and Information Services?
Mr. TREZZA. The National Commission, as you know from the Act on the White House Conference, is responsible for implementing the White House Conference on Library and Informations Services.
What we did was take our immediate action on the signing of the law on December 31, 1974, by the President, and we appointed the three Commissioners who would be on the Advisory Council to the White House Conference.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Have you done that?
Mr. Trezza. We did, working with the American Library Association and many others. We urged the two Houses to make their appointments.
As you know, they did, and they appointed 10, which gives us 13 of the 28.
We also immediately officially requested the Administration, one, to make the appointments, two, to call the White House Conference, which the language of the bill says not later than 1978, and, three, to request the appropriation of $3.5 million.
We have now made that request four times in 1 year. We made it for supplemental 1975 appropriation; we made it for the 1976 appropriation. We made it for the supplemental 1976 appropriation, and we have a gain made it then for 1977.
Now, officially we have been turned down there. We have been informed on the fourth one, but the President's budget has not been sent up yet and I guess I should not specify what that was.
But their view runs something like this:
First, they feel that it is inflationary. We tried to point out that spending $3.5 million in a period of 314, years is not, in our belief, inflationary.
Second, it has been labeled an initiative. We indicate that it was started in 1969 by President Ford himself, as minority leader, and signed by the President in 1974.
Third, they say that it will tend to raise people's expectations. Therefore, they feel the demand on the Administration and Congress for more and more programs and more and more money will be forthcoming
We are in a position where this is not going to be possible in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is going to cause frustration and, consequently, their recommendation is that we forget it.
Mr. BRADEMAS. The last point is what is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Could you expand a bit on the observation that runs through your testimony and the recommendations of the Commission to encourage a greater effort in support of libraries on the part of the States?
You noted in your testimony that States are at varying stages in developing their services. You say in point (e) that the fiscal provisions in the administration of LSCA be structured to strengthen, stimulate and require State and local support, and you use the phrase elsewhere in your statement of “incentive formulas.”
Could you tell us a little more specifically what you have in mind, at least so far as what this legislation could do more effectively to give incentives to the States to support libraries?
Mr. TREZZA. I would be glad to.
I just finished a term as State Librarian for the State of Illinois for slightly less than 6 years. In fact, I finished my last official duty last Friday in Illinois on a LSCA Advisory Committee project.
My direct experience indicated that where the Federal legislation and the rules and regulations made it possible for a State to use their LSCA funds instead of State funds, rather than in addition to, they
In Illinois, we tried very hard to convince the legislature that the intent of the act was not that, and we succeeded. We started in 1965 with a program there. We had no State aid whatsoever, and in less than 4 years, we went from nothing to $6 million. And today it is over $10 million, and we used exactly $1 million for 2 years runninghalf a million for 2 more years—total LSCA funds.
In other words, what we used was $3 million over a period of 4 years, and that was it. And we phased it out for State funding.
We then turned to LSCA funds for additional projects, additional programs for the State.
If you can do that in a State where the State legislature and Governor's office feel that you can't do it otherwise, but when a State has had a problem or disagreement between the philosophy of a State agency and the government, and has appealed to Washington for clarification or interpretation, the interpretation coming from the Office of Libraries and Learning Resources has always been that that was permissible. And we are saying, if you say that you, in effect, have opened the door for States to use those funds for State purposes—for running their own State agencies or for problems which are really the State responsibility. I agree when the Administration says, for example, that the Federal Government has a role which is different than the States, consequently, the State must exercise its own role, and they feel, given enough incentive, now, let the States share the responsibility and take it over.
We maintain that the principle is correct, but the time is wrong. And we maintain by doing the kind of things we are saying in the