News Release 3/20/06 (can be also be viewed by linking to this URL

News Release
Information Officer
1 202 606 9200
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For Immediate Release

President Bush Recommends Consolidation of NCLIS into IMLS

Washington, DC USA, March 20, 2006-In response to the Administration's
proposal for the consolidation of the U.S. National Commission on
Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) into the Institute for Museums
and Libraries (IMLS) by FY 2008, the Commission had discussions at its
recent meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

The Administration also proposes the merger of the current National
Center for Education Statistics (NCES) programs for public and state
library surveys into IMLS.  The rationale for proposing the merger of
the survey programs into IMLS is that consolidating grant making with
data collection, along with the NCLIS role in policy advice, will
strengthen federal library and information policy efforts and enhance
our nation's research capacity on domestic and international library
trends. Further, the consolidation of NCLIS and the NCES programs for
public and state library surveys into IMLS will create greater
efficiency of operations.

The Commission meeting was held in conjunction with the symposium,
"Scholarship and Libraries in Transition; A Dialogue about the Impacts
of Mass Digitization," which NCLIS co-sponsored with the University of
Michigan.  At its meeting the Commission affirmed its commitment to
ensuring that the level of public service provided under the current
system will not be diminished and that all benefits to the American
people will be maximized.  

This commitment emanates from the law that created NCLIS (Public Law
91-345 (20 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., signed July 20, 1970), which states that
"library and information services adequate to meet the needs of the
people of the United States are essential to achieve national goals."
For 35 years it has been the Commission's responsibility to develop and
recommend plans that will enable the American people to have adequate
library and information services.  The Commission's key statutory
functions are identifying the needs of the people for library and
information services, translating those needs into recommendations for
national policy, and advising the President, the Congress, state and
local governments and others on implementation of national policy. 
To carry out these key statutory responsibilities, the Commission has
been expected to conduct studies, surveys and analyses of the nation's
library and information needs; appraise the adequacies and deficiencies
and evaluate the effectiveness of current library and information
resources and services; conduct meetings, hearings and forums; and issue
reports and publications.  Since its creation in 1970, the Commission
has engaged in many important initiatives to achieve its statutory
mandate and published a number of reports of Commission findings,
studies, and recommendations.

Over the next few months NCLIS will work with IMLS and NCES to evaluate
models of consolidation to ensure that the level of public service
provided under the current system continues and that all potential
benefits of enhanced coordination are maximized in service to the
American people.


The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
(NCLIS) is a permanent, independent agency of the Federal government
charged by Public Law 91-345 to advise the President and Congress on
national and international library and information policies, to appraise
and assess the adequacies and deficiencies of library and information
resources and services, and to develop overall plans for meeting
national library and information needs.
Kim A. Miller
Special Assistant - Technical
U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
1800 M Street, NW; Suite 350 North Tower
Washington, DC 20036-5841
202-606-9200; Fax 202-606-9203
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