First Lady Laura Bush, American Library Association Celebrate National Library Week; Libraries Unveil Aggressive New Educational Initiative

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Library Association

    WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- First Lady Laura Bush, Baltimore
 Oriole All-Star Shortstop Mike Bordick and the American Library Association
 (ALA) gathered today at the Northeast Neighborhood Library to encourage
 America to discover -- and re-discover -- the richness and diversity of
 today's libraries.
     "National Library Week is a great time to remind people about the value of
 a free library card," said Mrs. Bush, a former librarian.  "Libraries are
 community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to
 everyone, equally, and the key to that treasure chest is a library card."
     Following the First Lady's remarks, the ALA unveiled @ your library(TM),
 The Campaign for America's Libraries, a five-year educational initiative
 designed to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and
 librarians in the 21st century and showcase the important role they play in
 communities across the country.
     With the @ your library campaign, ALA will increase awareness of
 libraries' vibrancy and vitality through active grassroots programs and
 strategic alliances with corporations, media entities and other organizations.
 For example, Major League Baseball (MLB) has pledged its support to increase
 awareness about the value of today's libraries.  So in addition to Bordick,
 MLB's Director of Community Affairs Tom Brasuell and Government Liaison Lucy
 Calutti were on hand at today's event.
     "Whether you're job hunting, drafting your thesis or researching baseball
 stats, all the resources you need are available at your library," says Nancy
 Kranich, ALA president.  "The nation's nearly 123,000 libraries provide access
 and opportunity to all, and they are as diverse as the people they serve.
 Most importantly, librarians -- highly qualified, skilled professionals -- can
 guide and teach you how to navigate the overwhelming amount of information at
 your fingertips."
     According to Kranich, the information sought and the resources available
 at libraries are truly endless. More than a million books are published each
 year and close to 3 billion home pages are available through the World Wide
 Web, which is growing at the rate of 5 million new pages daily.  Reference
 librarians in the nation's public and academic libraries answer more than
 seven million questions weekly.  And, Americans borrow more than 1.6 billion
 items per year from their public libraries, including books, magazines,
 videos, audio tapes, computer software, games, toys and more.
     "Libraries are busier than ever; at least two-thirds of the American
 public uses libraries each year," said Kranich,  "But so many people have yet
 to discover the many ways that libraries bring them the world.  Online, in
 person, where else can you have access to nearly anything on the Web or in
 print, as well as personal service and assistance in finding it?  The @ your
 library campaign will introduce millions to the exciting world of opportunity
 available inside America's libraries."
 
     The American Library Association is the oldest, largest and most
 influential library association in the world -- with more than 61,000 members
 that include librarians, trustees, publishers and library supporters.  The
 mission of the ALA is to promote the highest quality library and information
 services in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for
 all.  The ALA represents all types of libraries -- public, school, academic
 and specialized libraries serving people in the government, commerce, armed
 services, hospitals, and more.
 
     For more information about the ALA, the @ your library campaign, or
 National Library Week, log on to http://www.ala.org .
 
         PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING RESULTS OF NEW @ your library INDEX.
 
 
                              @ your library Index
 
     On Tuesday, April 3, during the American Library Association's celebration
 of National Library Week and launch of @ your library, The Campaign for
 America's Libraries, an aggressive five-year educational initiative, the ALA
 unveiled the "@ your library Index," a new study examining America's attitudes
 toward libraries and librarians.  Some of the findings are outlined below.
 
     Librarians: An Educated Guide through the Information Maze
     The Index revealed that the majority of adults surveyed realized that
 strong research skills and an expertise in computers and the Internet are
 pre-requisites for becoming a librarian.  Surprisingly, respondents were
 largely unaware of librarians' necessary educational level.  Less than half
 (49 percent) of those surveyed thought a college education was needed, and
 only 38 percent were aware that librarians typically hold a master's degree in
 library science and information studies.  According to the American Library
 Association, these results demonstrate a true misperception among the American
 public about the expertise and value of librarians of all types -- public,
 school, academic and specialized.
 
     Libraries: Dynamic Centers of Learning and Entertainment
     The "@ your library Index" also revealed that while 92 percent of
 respondents said libraries are often used to check out books, and 81 percent
 stated libraries are used for access to the Internet, most respondents didn't
 recognize that library programming stretched much further.  For example, only
 about 25 percent are aware that libraries offer free programs such as
 investment workshops and music recitals.  In reality, libraries are centers of
 cultural programming and offer extensive programming in a variety of areas.
 Because of their diverse offerings, people new to the country often look to
 libraries to get acclimated to their new environment, while remaining in
 contact with their cultural roots.  Newcomers learn English as a second
 language, as well as the ins and outs of the local community, including job
 opportunities, the school system, and more.  People of all cultures explore
 the international resource sections that offer hundreds of books, movies and
 reference materials in dozens of languages.
 
     For more information on the @ your library Index or the @ your library
 campaign, contact Paul Massey at 202-739-0299 or Tracy Naden at 212-445-8214.
 
 

SOURCE American Library Association
    WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- First Lady Laura Bush, Baltimore
 Oriole All-Star Shortstop Mike Bordick and the American Library Association
 (ALA) gathered today at the Northeast Neighborhood Library to encourage
 America to discover -- and re-discover -- the richness and diversity of
 today's libraries.
     "National Library Week is a great time to remind people about the value of
 a free library card," said Mrs. Bush, a former librarian.  "Libraries are
 community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to
 everyone, equally, and the key to that treasure chest is a library card."
     Following the First Lady's remarks, the ALA unveiled @ your library(TM),
 The Campaign for America's Libraries, a five-year educational initiative
 designed to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and
 librarians in the 21st century and showcase the important role they play in
 communities across the country.
     With the @ your library campaign, ALA will increase awareness of
 libraries' vibrancy and vitality through active grassroots programs and
 strategic alliances with corporations, media entities and other organizations.
 For example, Major League Baseball (MLB) has pledged its support to increase
 awareness about the value of today's libraries.  So in addition to Bordick,
 MLB's Director of Community Affairs Tom Brasuell and Government Liaison Lucy
 Calutti were on hand at today's event.
     "Whether you're job hunting, drafting your thesis or researching baseball
 stats, all the resources you need are available at your library," says Nancy
 Kranich, ALA president.  "The nation's nearly 123,000 libraries provide access
 and opportunity to all, and they are as diverse as the people they serve.
 Most importantly, librarians -- highly qualified, skilled professionals -- can
 guide and teach you how to navigate the overwhelming amount of information at
 your fingertips."
     According to Kranich, the information sought and the resources available
 at libraries are truly endless. More than a million books are published each
 year and close to 3 billion home pages are available through the World Wide
 Web, which is growing at the rate of 5 million new pages daily.  Reference
 librarians in the nation's public and academic libraries answer more than
 seven million questions weekly.  And, Americans borrow more than 1.6 billion
 items per year from their public libraries, including books, magazines,
 videos, audio tapes, computer software, games, toys and more.
     "Libraries are busier than ever; at least two-thirds of the American
 public uses libraries each year," said Kranich,  "But so many people have yet
 to discover the many ways that libraries bring them the world.  Online, in
 person, where else can you have access to nearly anything on the Web or in
 print, as well as personal service and assistance in finding it?  The @ your
 library campaign will introduce millions to the exciting world of opportunity
 available inside America's libraries."
 
     The American Library Association is the oldest, largest and most
 influential library association in the world -- with more than 61,000 members
 that include librarians, trustees, publishers and library supporters.  The
 mission of the ALA is to promote the highest quality library and information
 services in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for
 all.  The ALA represents all types of libraries -- public, school, academic
 and specialized libraries serving people in the government, commerce, armed
 services, hospitals, and more.
 
     For more information about the ALA, the @ your library campaign, or
 National Library Week, log on to http://www.ala.org .
 
         PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING RESULTS OF NEW @ your library INDEX.
 
 
                              @ your library Index
 
     On Tuesday, April 3, during the American Library Association's celebration
 of National Library Week and launch of @ your library, The Campaign for
 America's Libraries, an aggressive five-year educational initiative, the ALA
 unveiled the "@ your library Index," a new study examining America's attitudes
 toward libraries and librarians.  Some of the findings are outlined below.
 
     Librarians: An Educated Guide through the Information Maze
     The Index revealed that the majority of adults surveyed realized that
 strong research skills and an expertise in computers and the Internet are
 pre-requisites for becoming a librarian.  Surprisingly, respondents were
 largely unaware of librarians' necessary educational level.  Less than half
 (49 percent) of those surveyed thought a college education was needed, and
 only 38 percent were aware that librarians typically hold a master's degree in
 library science and information studies.  According to the American Library
 Association, these results demonstrate a true misperception among the American
 public about the expertise and value of librarians of all types -- public,
 school, academic and specialized.
 
     Libraries: Dynamic Centers of Learning and Entertainment
     The "@ your library Index" also revealed that while 92 percent of
 respondents said libraries are often used to check out books, and 81 percent
 stated libraries are used for access to the Internet, most respondents didn't
 recognize that library programming stretched much further.  For example, only
 about 25 percent are aware that libraries offer free programs such as
 investment workshops and music recitals.  In reality, libraries are centers of
 cultural programming and offer extensive programming in a variety of areas.
 Because of their diverse offerings, people new to the country often look to
 libraries to get acclimated to their new environment, while remaining in
 contact with their cultural roots.  Newcomers learn English as a second
 language, as well as the ins and outs of the local community, including job
 opportunities, the school system, and more.  People of all cultures explore
 the international resource sections that offer hundreds of books, movies and
 reference materials in dozens of languages.
 
     For more information on the @ your library Index or the @ your library
 campaign, contact Paul Massey at 202-739-0299 or Tracy Naden at 212-445-8214.
 
 SOURCE  American Library Association