Library Expansion

June 2, 1967

Report Outline
Federal Aid and Library Expansion
Role of Libraries in American Education
Library Modernization and Automation
Special Focus

Federal Aid and Library Expansion

The library, that once quiet refuge of children, old folks, and a small band of scholars, has become as busy as the local supermarket. Bright new libraries with yards of glass walls and spacious rooms are luring the public with free film programs, art exhibitions, discussion groups, more attractive book collections, and other promotional devices. By latest count, the number of libraries in the United States—public libraries and school and college libraries, general libraries and specialized libraries—has mounted to the impressive total of 70,502.

Spurring the increase in library activity is federal aid, now in its 11th year, provided by the Library Services Act of 1956. Starting with a modest $2 million appropriation in 1957, aid made available by this act rose to $76 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1967. These funds, together with others authorized by recent aid-to-education acts, have carried total federal outlays for libraries this fiscal year to nearly $500 million.

Assistance on this scale signifies the revived interest in libraries as prime instruments of education, and education at all levels is one of the great forces in American life today. As the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead has said: “In the condition of modern life, the rule is absolute: the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. …There will be no appeal from the judgment which will be pronounced on the uneducated.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jul. 29, 2011  Future of Libraries
Mar. 16, 2007  Presidential Libraries
Jun. 01, 2001  Libraries and the Internet
Jun. 06, 1997  Reforming the FDA
May 23, 1997  The Future of Libraries
Jun. 26, 1992  Hard Times for Libraries
Nov. 09, 1979  Libraries' Financial Squeeze
Jun. 02, 1967  Library Expansion
Computers and the Internet
Internet and Social Media
Libraries and Educational Media