May 16, 2022

Conference Paper: A Brief History of National Support for Libraries in the United States

The following paper will be presented at the upcoming World Library and Information Congress, 78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly that will take place in Helsinki this August.


A brief history of national support for libraries in the United States


Michele Farrell
Institute of Museum and Library Services


IFLA General Conference 2012 Web Site


This paper is a short review of federal government support for libraries in the United States. It takes a look at some of the U.S. legislation that has impacted the development of public, school, college, and medical libraries. It also describes organizations that have been involved with the passage of library legislation and the governmental structures that carried out the legislative mandates. Librarians and their organizations have influenced the passage of legislation so that libraries can improve service and accessibility to information.

Direct to Full Text (10 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.