In these divisive times, it is worth noting when elected officials across the political spectrum collectively proclaim: This is who we are! This is what we want!

During National Library Week (April 7-13), the Portland Public Library wishes to express appreciation for bipartisan support of libraries. The Museum and Library Services Act became law at the end of 2018, renewing and building on a $240 million commitment to public libraries for the next five years. It also fosters training and education for underrepresented minorities, and expands support for tribal libraries and museums.

Maine’s entire congressional delegation voted for the Museum and Library Services Act. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King were initial co-sponsors of Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed’s and Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva’s bill. Southern Maine is the only district in the country in which both our senators and our U.S. representative, Chellie Pingree, initially co-sponsored it.

Sen. Collins said, “Public libraries and museums are central community institutions in Maine and throughout the country. Increasingly, libraries have emerged as hubs not just for literacy and internet access, but for workforce support and community activities.”

At the state level, Gov. Mills recently expressed her support by proclaiming this entire month Maine Library Month.

When President Trump last month proposed eliminating federal support for libraries from next year’s budget, our entire delegation stood firm. They supported the Library Services and Technology Act and Innovative Approach to Literacy grants. We greatly appreciate Sens. Collins and King, and Reps. Pingree and Jared Golden, for supporting public, school and other libraries in Maine.

Our leaders understand the diverse ways public libraries enrich people’s lives. If you haven’t recently visited us in Monument Square, at one of our branches or online (www.portlandlibrary.com), now is the perfect time. We are here for all!

Sarah Campbell

executive director

Sam Zager

trustee

Portland Public Library

Portland

 


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