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areas through cooperation with their libraries, the center-city libraries also serve directly many people who neither live nor pay taxes in the central city.
Now, a word about the administration's library proposals. There are two. The first is the Library Partnership Act. We agree with the administration that interlibrary cooperative activities are worthy of Federal support and encouragement, but we strongly disagree that this should be done by inaugurating a new program with all funding decisions retained at the Federal level.
The other proposal of the administration is that general revenue sharing is a substitute for LSCA. Some libraries have been benefited from that program. In many cases, general revenue sharing is not stimulating new services to unserved groups such as the handicapped or bilingual—both priorities of LSCA. It is instead providing the kind of general operating support that had in prior years been provided by the local government.
In conclusion, we believe that extension of the Library Services and Construction Act is the most realistic way at this time to assist the States and localities in extending library services and facilities to the unserved, to promote interlibrary cooperation and improved service to all Americans.
We will be glad to provide further information and answer any questions which you may have. Mr. Chairman, I don't know whether you wish to ask questions now, or should I defer now to Mr. IIumphry?
Mr. BRADEMAS. I think it would be helpful, if you have no objection, if we heard from all of you and then we can put questions to you.
Ms. MARTIX. Fine. [The prepared statement of Ms. Allie Beth Martin follows:] PREPARED STATEMENT OF ALLIE BETH MARTIN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN LIBRARY
ASSOCIATION My name is Allie Beth Martin. I am director of the Tulsa City/County Library System, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was recently appointed by House Speaker Carl Albert to serve on the Advisory Committee to the White Ilouse Conference on Library and Information Services. I am also president of the American Library Association, which I am representing here today.
The American Library Association was founded in 1876, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America. Next year the United States will be celebrating its 200th birthday, and the American Library Association will mark its 100th year.
ALA is a nonprofit educational organization of over 35,000 members, including librarians, trustees, educators, and library users. A major and far-reaching objective of the Association is the development and improvement of library and information services and resources for all the people of the United States in order to increase their opportunity to participate in society, to learn to achieve self-fulfillment, to pursue careers, and to obtain information needed for research.
I am here today on behalf of our members to urge your support for extension of the Library Services and Construction Act. But, first, Mr. Chairman, I would like to convey to you our great appreciation for the strong leadership you have demonstrated in support of the White House Conference on Library and Information Services, authorized by PL 93–568 to take place no later than 1978.
We are disappointed that President Ford, one of the early sponsors of the White House Conference legislation when he was House Minority Leader, has not vet made his appointments to the White House Conference Advisory Committee, nor submitted his budget request to Congress. We are hopeful that the Administration will take this action soon, so that the states can begin their own coordinated planning for state conferences culminating in the national conference in 1978. It is our firm conviction, Mr. Chairman, that through the White House Conference process, the states and localities as well as the federal government will accomplish at very low cost the kind of major reassessment of library services that is badly needed today.
Library service to the American people has greatly improved in recent years, Mr. Chairman, due to a great extent to the Library Services and Construction Act. Nevertheless, in many areas high quality service continues to be the exception rather than the rule. Inequities in public library finance at the state and local level have by and large persisted, although some states have developed state assistance programs that include a form of equalization.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, which has been diligently working to develop a national plan for improved library and information service, considerable discussion has arisen recently in the library and information community as to how the roles of federal, state, and local governments might be redefined to provide better library service to all. The White House Conference and the preceding state conferences will serve to bring this discussion to a broad spectrum of the American people, the users and potential users of libraries. It is the views of the American people themselves, not the library and information community, that must be sought now, and the White House Conference will provide just the vehicle to accomplish this goal.
Then, Mr. Chairman, with the benefit of the work of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science on the one hand, and the findings of the White House Conference on the other, not only the federal government, but state legislatures and local governing officials as well will be in a far better position than we find ourselves today to design new library legislation for the 1980s and beyond.
But until the findings from the state conferences and the White House Conference are in, until we have the kind of nationwide data the conferences will produce on library and information service gaps and needs, the American Library Association believes it would be counterproductive as well as premature to enact a new piece of library legislation, such as the Administration recommends in its wholly discretionary library partnership proposal.
We would urge you to extend the Library Services and Construction Act to allow the White House Conference process to run its course, and to allow sufficient time for wrapup and preparation of final reports. Then, based upon the conference findings plus the work of the National Commission, it would be appropriate to consider a substantial revision of LSCA, or development of new legislation if warranted, in the early 1980s.
We would, however, suggest a number of amendments that might be made now to the present Act, to tighten up the administration of the program, and to provide stronger incentives to the states to strengthen their own programs of assistance to local libraries.
This statement is divided into three sections: The first is concerned with the need for LSCA and the contributions this small but vitally important federal program is making. The second suggests a number of changes that might be made now in LSCA to make the program more effective in achieving its all-important objective of promoting the further development of public library services and extending them to persons without adequate service. And the third section comments upon the Administration's library partnership proposal.
First, I would like to discuss some of the accomplishments of the Library Services and Construction Act, and to point out why the program is badly needed today, and must be continued.
1. ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF LSCA
Library services (LSCA titles I and IV)
[LSCA support has enabled libraries to extend and improve services to groups whose access to libraries has been limited or nonexistent-low income families, bilingual families, the elderly, persons isolated by reason of distance or physical handicap, the institutionalized. If the program should be discontinued, these groups would stand to lose the most.]
In localities with high concentrations of low income families, the property tax base does not provide enough revenue to support quality library service. And with basic costs-prices of books and periodicals, postage, electricity and heating 1 Books by Mail Service: A Conference Report, June 23, 1973, Las Vegas, Nev. Sponsored by Council on Library Resources and Indiana State University, Dept. of Library Science. Ed. by Choon H. Kim, pub, by Indiana State University, Sept. 1973.
fuel-spiralling upward, it becomes increasingly difficult for libraries to extend services to those not served or not served adequately. Indeed, many libraries are finding it difficult to maintain the level of service they have been providing. Yet even under such conditions, LSCA has helped the states and localities to find a way to provide new service to groups requiring it. In short, LSCA funds have provided and continue to provide the incentive for libraries in all parts of the country to serve the unserved.
For example, in my state, Oklahoma, LSCA money in 1973 and 1974 was used, in part, to fund a multi-county demonstration project in the southwestern part of the state. This project brought library services to Harmon and Jackson counties—counties which had never before had library services. The citizens of these two counties found the services so valuable that when the demonstration project funds were withdrawn last year they did not wait for the state to pick up the funding; they voted a 2-mill library tax on themselves to keep the library going.
One way in which libraries have extended their services to those unable to come to the library in recent years is through books by mail programs. In a typical program, the library mails out a catalog highlighting titles in its collection (or listing a paperback collection assembled for the purpose) to target groups. Families or individuals can then borrow and renew or return books entirely by mail and without any expense to themselves.
The Report of the 1973 Conference on Books by Mail Service indicates that rural books-by-mail programs are reaching from 10 to over 50 percent of rural population hitherto unserved by any of the standard public library services in the local area. Urban or metropolitan books by mail programs are the main source of books for a growing segment of those homebound, institution bound, and the elderly, and reach from 4 to 6 percent of the total population in the local urban area. The circulation cost of such programs seems to be comparable to branch or bookmobile circulation, although whether books by mail remains a viable alternative depends partially on the extent of the rise in postal rates. The library postal rate is now scheduled to rise over 300 percent according to the latest rate change requested by the Postal Service.
The North Cent Regional Library in Wenatchee, Washington, began a booksby-mail program to serve low-density rural populations spread over a wide geographical area. The service proved to be extremely popular, growing at a rate of from 30 to 50 percent each year.
It accounts for over 10 percent of the total library circulation. At the termination of the LSCA funds that had been supporting it, the Library Board decided to keep the Mail Order Program, finding that it turned out to be quite competitive with other alternatives in terms of cost and more advantageous in terms of achieving the objective of equalizing library service. For this library, the main strength of the program lies in the fact that it does not require the concentration of population in a locality that bookmobile or branch service would require.
In New York, the Wyoming County Library, after having extended its booksby-mail service to the inmates of the Attica Correctional Facility for over a year, received word in June, 1973, that they would receive $5,000 to make the library staff, catalog, and book collection more fully available to the residents of Attica. The $5,000 was part of a larger $20,000 grant being made to Attica under LSCA to support a project providing paperback books for the reading interests of prison inmates. $10,000 of the grant was used to buy paperback books to place in cellblock libraries. $5,000 went to a professor of library science at SUNY, Geneseo, to train six inmates in library duties and to select the books for paperback collection.
We were disappointed that Title IV of LSCA, Older Readers Services, has never been funded since it was enacted in 1973. However, we are pleased that some services to the elderly have been carried out under Title I, including projects in California, Missouri, and Wisconsin. In 1974–75 LSCA grants in California included $38,660 to the Inland Library System for its ORIFLAMME service to the aged project, and $30,000 to the San Joaquin Valley Library System's program for the handicapped and aged. Much more could be done along these lines if there were additional funding.
An example of the variety of outreach services aided by LSCA funds is provided by the state of California. Highlights among 1975–76 grants include
$290,287 to the Oakland Public Library for development of bilingual library service to the Asian community; $137,000 to the San Joaquin Valley Library System to establish library service to 15 correctional institutions in four counties; $127,537 to the San Jose Public Library for purchase of Spanish language materials and demonstration of bicultural service in both branch libraries and community centers; $77,111 to the Sonoma State Hospital resident library and mobile unit, including service to assist released patients in the community; and $107,610 to the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System, Los Angeles County, for special services to an estimated 55,000 deaf and hearing impaired residents.
These examples serve to illustrate how effectively the Library Services and Construction Act has aided libraries to serve those not served adequately or not reached at all. This has been accomplished by the careful use of seed money in the form of project grants to demonstrate new methods of library service, to allow libraries to work cooperatively across jurisdictional boundaries, and to improve service to the disadvantaged or previously unserved.
LSCA also serves to effectively supplement and complement other Federal programs. An example is library service to the blind, spearheaded by the Library of Congress. When the “Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind" was passed in 1931, and 18 institutions were designated as regional libraries to serve the blind of the nation, the libraries were to be locally supported, with their talking book machines and a major portion of their talking books and braille books coming from the Library of Congress.
This program continues today, with the Library of Congress providing the materials to designated regional libraries at the state level, and to subregional libraries at the local level. The state and local libraries use their own funds and some assistance from LSCA to house the materials and provide support services and staff to make them available to the blind and physically handicapped. There are now 54 regional libraries at the state level, and about 150 subregional libraries, usually municipal public libraries. It is an effective program and an excellent model of local, state, and federal sharing.
Title I priorities, in addition to service to the disadvantaged, the bilingual, the elderly, the handicapped, and others who have no access to library service, include aiding metropolitan libraries and strengthening State Library Agencies. Urban libraries have special problems today arising out of the massive problems of large cities—the problems of diversity of population, of taxation and funding, of urban crowding—as well as increased demands on their resources and services by users outside their boundaries. LSCA funds have helped to strengthen the capacity of metropolitan libraries to make their resources more accessible on a national or regional basis, and have aided special projects to implement national priorities in such areas as Right to Read, career and vocational education, drug abuse and environmental education.
The stimulation of federal funds has also helped to develop statewide library programs, operated by the State Library Agencies, the governmental units responsible for providing leadership in library development throughout the state. Proj. ects initiated include statewide and multi-county regional system development, statewide and regional film circuits and books-by-mail service, interlibrary cooperation and centralized processing centers, and in-service training programs.
In Vermont, for instance, the Department of Libraries' Reference Services Unit, with its Access Office branch at the University of Vermont, serves as a referral center for questions which cannot be answered at the local level. The Unit also operates as a switching center for the Vermont Library Teletype Network, providing rapid response to requests for locations of materials listed in the Vermont Union Catalog. This results in much improved, cost effective sharing of library materials by all libraries and library users.
Extension of authorization for Title I of LSCA is urgently needed to help libraries respond to those groups outside the mainstream of society who are articulating their needs as never before, to meet the people's need for accurate and timely information in a complex society, and to enable libraries to pool resources as the only way of ensuring that larger numbers of people have access to the growing number of publications in a time of rising costs and limited funding. Library construction (LSCA title II)
As you know, title II of the LSCA was last funded in fiscal year 1973, and the entire $15 million appropriation was impounded by the Administration until the middle of fiscal year 1974 when it was released pursuant to court action brought by the States. These funds were rapidly obligated, and because further title II appropriations were not made, a backlog of public library construction and remodeling projects has developed.
Last Spring the ALA surveyed the states to learn how many public library construction projects would be ready to go—that is, with the necessary matching funds available-if title II were funded in 1975. We were told that at least 743 library construction projects could be carried out, one-third ready to begin by July 1, another third by January 1, 1976, and the remainder by July 1, 1976. Attached to this statement is a state-by-state list of public library projects on which construction could begin if Federal matching funds were forthcoming.
In addition to projects for which matching funds are available, states have identified another 766 public library construction projects that are badly needed but are in communities that cannot generate the local matching funds required for participation in a program like title II.
The need for public library construction is spread throughout the country, as the attached list shows, and the employment effects of meeting those needs would consequently be felt throughout the economy. I want to point out also that many of these projects are not for wholly new construction but proposed remodeling or modernization of existing structures. Many libraries are trying to provide services through smaller neighborhood branches. Many libraries need to alter their facilities to permit their use by the physically handicapped. Requirements of the occupational safety-health standards must be taken into consideration. In some places, libraries are faced with a need to convert their heating equipment in an effort to comply with local limitations on sources of energy and to hold down their operating costs.
We are convinced from the data we have collected, that this libary construction program is badly needed and must be continued. Interlibrary cooperation (LSCA title III)
Title III is a highly significant federal program that encourages cooperation among all types of libraries irrespective of jurisdictional lines.
We find it difficult to understand how the Administration could recommend termination of this program which provides incentive for the states to develop projects that link all types of libraries together enabling them to coordinate their resources and services, when the same Administration at the same time proposes a Library Partnership Act for interlibrary cooperation. The Administration would substitute a dubious unknown quantity for a program that has won acclaim from all states.
LSCA title III has been a popular and successful program, although severely underfunded from the start. Notwithstanding the relatively small amount of title III funds allotted to each state and the uncertainty that has attended provision of the funds in recent years, the states are making significant improvements and economies in their services through the title III program.
In Pennsylvania, for example, materials are exchanged through a van delivery system that connects 150 libraries across the state. The academic and public libraries list each book they purchase in a central computer file so that any cooperating library can instantly determine which other libraries own a specific book requested by a reader. A catalog of the holdings of over 100 Pennsylvania libraries is being placed on microfilm, and copies will be placed at several locations throughout the state so that these books may be borrowed on an interlibrary loan basis.
Kansas has used Title III funds to start and operate an interlibrary loan system that includes college, junior college, high school and public libraries. Any patron of any of these libraries has access to the materials in any other library in the system. This has given libraries the opportunity to enlarge their collections since they do not have to purchase seldom-requested esoteric titles which are available at participating libraries. Cooperative endeavors such as this would not have been possible without the availability of Title III funds to encourage and assist development of the new system.
California has used a Title III grant to set up a Cooperative Information Network with the purpose of responding as totally as possible to the informational needs of individuals, government units, and businesses located within Santa Clara County. Participants in the network from the beginning included the libraries of three universities (Stanford, Santa Clara, and San Jose State), eight sizable public libraries, five burgeoning community colleges, scores of school and media libraries, plus the vast scientific collections of special libraries. More libraries joined later.