As Congress is working to strengthen our nation’s infrastructure, we have a unique opportunity right now for West Virginia. The Build America’s Libraries Act would allocate $5 billion for the construction and renovation of libraries nationwide, with an estimated $32.2 million for the Mountain State.
Federal library construction funding ended in 1997. Libraries like the Mountaintop Public Library offer equitable access to educational advancement, economic opportunity, and lifeline services. With time, these buildings need to be upgraded structurally, electrically, and technologically. The legislation would help fund these upgrades as well as improved accessibility, increased internet capacity, and damage from natural disasters and environmental hazards.
At the Mountaintop Public Library, we want to be able to accommodate more books and materials, children’s space, and meetings than the 700 square feet in our connected modulars can do currently. The library’s furnace is at the end of its useful life, and demand for the three public computers is great. This legislation could help fund the challenges like these that libraries are facing across the country.
Let’s urge West Virginia’s delegation to support the Build America’s Libraries Act, so that our community can be assured of:
Safe and comfortable spaces, to read, meet, and learn.
Buildings that can more easily be navigated by people with disabilities.
Increased access to public computers and WiFi.
Assistance with job searching and developing new skills.
Expanded children’s and young adult programming.
By doing so, we will strengthen West Virginia’s infrastructure for now and for years to come.
Mountaintop Public Library