Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy Allowing City Services, Including Libraries, to Remain Open During a Federal Government Shutdown
Whereas while Congress and the President could not come to terms on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government during the beginning of fiscal year 2014, the District of Columbia (D.C.) had passed its budget for that year,
Whereas currently, D.C.’s government is unable to spend local tax revenue without authorization from Congress,
Whereas if not for the actions of Mayor Vincent Gray, who took the unprecedented step to declare all D.C. government employees to be essential, D.C.’s nearly 700,000 residents would have been subject to a government shutdown—coinciding with the federal government shutdown—thereby depriving them of:
- access to the 26 public library branches throughout the city,
- access to the 90 meeting and study rooms in those branches,
- library services to patrons with disabilities including:
80,000 titles from the D.C. Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped,
the annual D.C. Mayoral Disability Services Exposition,
the annual Accessibility Camp
- resources from the library’s adult literacy division including,
- GED tutoring
- English language conversation circles for ESL learners
- the library’s early childhood literacy campaign,
- access to the drop in jobs seekers clinics for D.C. residents seeking employment,
- homework help from Tudor.com,
I. The American Library Association recognizes the District of Columbia’s budget as separate from the federal government’s and calls on the Congress and the President to:
A. Grant the District of Columbia budget autonomy thereby,
i. Preventing the unnecessary closer of public libraries in the event of a federal government shutdown which would allow,
ii. District of Columbia residents much needed access services the DC Public Library provides.
II. Commends the administration of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray who used the city’s reserve fund to keep the government and libraries open to D.C. residents.
III. Recognizes the hard work of all D.C. Public Library staff members who steadfastly served their community during the uncertain times of October 2013.