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The Higher Education Act, Title 11-A: Its Impact On The Academic Library

By Alan Carter Smith


THEYEAR 1965 marked a high point in the history of federal legislation for libraries. Acting in response to demands for more social legislation, and uith the strength of his sweeping kictory at the polls behind him, President Lyndon Johnson, in a special message on education delivered January 12, 1965,urged the Congress to “push ahead with the No. 1 business of the American people-the education of our youth.” ’ He remarked: “Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sake-but for the Nation’s sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country; not our military preparedness-for armed might is worthless if we lack the brainpower to build a world of peace; not our productive economy-for we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of government-for freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.”2 The legislators-subsequently dubbed by Eileen Cooke of the ALA Washington Office as the second “Education Congress”-responded by promptly enacting several pieces of legislation designed to impro \ e education and library service at all levels. The Higher Education Act (HEA) has proven most valuable in its provision of materials and encouragement of training and research in academic libraries. Previous legislation had provided library buildings, but as Johnson remarked in his speech: “To construct a library building is meaningless unless there are books to bring life to the 1ibra1-y.”~ Hearings on the proposed Higher Education Act of 1965before the House Special Subcommittee on Education reflected the broad sense of mission and historical perspective then prevalent. For example

Year: 1975
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