Supporting National Library Week

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Supporting National Library Week  (2010) 
by Earl Blumenauer

Supporting National Library Week



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, in Oregon, we pride ourselves on our strong community and a commitment to quality of life and education. Public libraries are a vital piece of this fabric and, in fact, Oregon has the second highest circulation of public library materials in the nation and the only 5-star library in the Northwest. As the economic downturn has pushed family budgets to the brink, these resources are more important than ever. In addition to public reading and visual materials, libraries offer Internet and computer access for all, free of charge. Many also serve as vibrant community spaces for gatherings and events.

Another library that deserves particular recognition is our very own Library of Congress. To highlight the world-class work of this institution, in 2008 I formed the Library of Congress Caucus, now nearly 70 Members strong. My friend Congressman Zach Wamp serves as co- chair and our goal is to draw further attention to the nation's library, its collections and curators, and to encourage further use by Members of Congress and the public.

The Library of Congress not only houses the outstanding Congressional Research Service, it also offers 1.6 million visitors access to 15 million primary-source documents and operates the Veteran's History Project. One of my favorite programs, the Surplus Books Program, is an innovative service through which Members may send extra books from the Library of Congress to schools and libraries in their home district. At a time when funding for public schools and libraries is scarce, this is a simple way to reduce waste and distribute excess resources to our communities and schools where they are critically needed.

I strongly encourage members to take advantage of these extraordinary programs and resources, and congratulate all our nation's libraries, librarians, and library-enthusiasts.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

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