America’s libraries are business-building, job-creating, workforce-preparing engines of the U.S. economy in every corner of the country.

Andrew AlbaneseA commonly heard complaint against the US Congress is that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle rarely bother to read the legislation they’re voting on. This week, a coalition of publishers and media industry trade associations announced an effort that makes reading itself the center of attention on Capitol Hill.

After only a short time, the Corporate Committee for Library Investment has already acquired more than two-dozen members, including two Big Five publishers (Penguin Random House, and Macmillan) as well as a number of national trade associations, including the American Booksellers Association (ABA), and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

“CCLI members say they are united by the common belief that America’s libraries are what they call, ‘business-building, job-creating, workforce-preparing engines of the U.S. economy in every corner of the country.’ The group formed to tell that story to Congress and other federal policy makers who control library funding, and to encourage every American business to do the same,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

The CCLI launches as libraries face serious threats to their funding. Most notably, the Trump administration has proposed to eliminate virtually all federal library funding, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the agency that distributes those funds to all 50 states.

“Even though that funding was recently saved for the fiscal year ending September 30, the fight for the 2018 budget is underway, and it is going to be a tough one,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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