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BENJAMIN DISRAELI ONCE said, "Change is inevitable. In a progressive country change is constant." In his article "Is It Time to Rethink Federal Library Legislation" in the June 1989 American Libraries (p. 525-528), Edward G. Holley gives the impression that the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) has not changed to adequately reflect the needs of our citizens and, as a result, the "old legislation" is out-of-date. Holley further suggests that the library profession has too quickly condemned the new Library Services Improvement Act (LSIA) proposed by the Reagan and Bush administrations. Is the LSIA a new and innovative approach to the federal role in library and information services? Has the library profession resisted change in LSCA? My answer to both these questions is no.
Disraeli's thoughts on change describe the evolutionary history of the LSCA. It is an approach that has kept the LSCA a vibrant and vital program. As the library and information service needs of the nation have changed, the aims and purposes of the LSCA have evolved to respond to those changes.
During its 25 -year history, the LSCA ha undergone six reauthorizations. Each reauthorization has included a reexamina tion of the purposes of the program. Dur ing the 1960s the …