Statement by the President Upon Signing the Library Services and Construction Act Amendments.
I HAVE SIGNED into law some important improvements in an important statute: the Library Services and Construction Act.
In the past decade, this law has given assistance to libraries serving 75 million Americans.
--Thirteen million Americans have received library service for the first time.
--Local libraries have bought more than 27 million books and other education items.
--719 new libraries have been built.
--$100 million in Federal funds has been matched by $321 million in State and local funds.
The first Library Services Act, passed in 1956, was limited to communities whose population was under 10,000, and to remote rural areas. In 1964, however, we extended the law to serve urban and suburban areas, and broadened it to permit construction of public libraries. Again last year, the law was expanded and improved.
Today's law, in addition to several technical amendments, has two important features:
--It will make it possible for communities to buy and remodel existing buildings for use as libraries;
--Instead of reducing the Federal share in new State library programs--as contemplated in the 1966 amendments--the new law continues the 100-percent Federal share for 1 additional year. This will strengthen new programs to establish cooperation between libraries, to provide libraries in State institutions, and to give special library service to physically handicapped persons.
It gives me great pride to sign this law, which supports an important national goal: as much education for every citizen as he wants and can absorb.
Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 13048) is Public Law 90-154 (81 Stat. 509).
The statement was released at San Antonio, Texas.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Library Services and Construction Act Amendments. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238180