During severe heat waves, public libraries often serve as cooling centers, but many need upgrading to become climate resilience hubs. In one Oregon district, libraries were the only cooling centers available, even though they haven't been upgraded for 50 years. Legislators are considering how to assist. The Build America’s Libraries Act asks for $5 billion, and the American Library Association hopes the act can be part of the $3.5 trillion budget spending plan. If that happens, Washington’s libraries would receive about $105 million and Oregon’s about $63 million to address natural disasters and environmental hazards and improve accessibility and broadband.

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