With Back-to-School Season Underway, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Announces More Than $2 Million To Expand Digital Literacy Resources at Houston Public Libraries
Houston, September 2, 2023
Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) joined Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Public Library Executive Director Dr. Rhea Lawson to highlight $2,000,347 in Congressional funding she secured for Houston Public Library’s (HPL) Youth Digi-Lit Project.
The Youth Digi-Lit Project is an extension of HPL’s Learning Link Library Card Program, which allows students at Alief Independent School District (Alief ISD) and Houston Independent School District (HISD) to check out books, use online tools, and access other services for free at all HPL locations and Wi-Fi-enabled locations, wherever they are. The funding will greatly expand the number of e-books, streaming videos, and other digital resources for early literacy and for students in grades K-12. It will also allow access to thousands of educational videos for all ages that teachers can use in the classroom.
“Public libraries play a critical role in our community, ensuring access to information and learning for all,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “The Houston Public Library has consistently worked to innovate and expand access, and I am proud to report that it will receive more than $2 million in federal funding that I obtained through congressional appropriations to expand the number of digital resources for students and teachers in our community. I was glad to collaborate with Mayor Turner and Dr. Lawson to support this important program and the library’s overall mission, and I look forward to continuing to work together for our community.”
“Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher is a strong literacy advocate and supporter of the Houston Public Library system, and I am thankful for her partnership and dedication,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Together, we secured over $2 million in community funding for the Houston Public Library’s Youth Digi-Lit project. During a time when library resources are becoming politicized and more difficult to access, these investments are necessary for our children’s futures. Access to critical educational tools should not be a privilege, but a fundamental right.”
“We are ecstatic about the wonderful opportunity made possible by U.S. Representative Lizzie Fletcher to increase HPL’s reach to provide critical resources that support in-school learning, promote early literacy, and encourage the joy of reading,” said Houston Public Library Executive Director Dr. Rhea Lawson.
Last year, Congresswoman Fletcher requested funding specifically for HPL through the community project funding process in Congress. The process allows members of Congress to request funding for specific projects in their districts. She secured the funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, the bipartisan government funding bill that funds essential programs and projects—including the HPL Youth Digi-Lit Project—for Fiscal Year 2023.