Libraries are invisible to people in power. Politicians [and corporate bodies generally i would say -ed.] have their own research staffs and IT support and newspaper subscriptions; they don’t see how dependent the rest of us are on that shared information.
A definite bright spark for libraries and museums was the recent passing of S. 3984 by the House in the closing days of the 111th Congress -it was signed into law on December 22, 2010. S. 3984 (The Museum and Library Services Act) was created to authorize funding at current levels for library and museum services around the country through 2016. Further reading.
In addition, this bill authorizes funding for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program which provides education assistance grants for those pursuing careers as librarians, and it expands the definition of museums eligible for funding to include those with digital collections. The Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services will also now be required to develop and implement a policy for ensuring that the availability of museum, library and information services adequately meets the needs of the American people.
Endnote: I always come back to a quote from my tutor Alan Smith, worth repeating;
"Show me a town that denies funding to a library, and I'll show you a librarian who stays in the office. Show me a town that funds its library, and I'll show you a librarian who takes donuts down to the fire department. Who goes down to the city hall and goes into offices asking if they need anything. You have to be proactive. It might come as a shock to some of you, but a large part of the success of that library is your personality and the way you treat people."