Reader's Digest Association Welcomes Former New York Public Library President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Paul LeClerc for Global Language Project Lunch Series

Oct 26, 2011, 16:11 ET from Reader's Digest Association

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Paul LeClerc, former President and CEO of The New York Public Library, will serve as guest speaker on Thursday, October 27th at a luncheon organized by the Global Language Project. The event is sponsored and hosted by RD English, part of the Reader's Digest Association, in New York City.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111026/NY94331 )

Dr. LeClerc's talk, entitled "The Bilingual and Bicultural Edge," is the latest in the Global Language Project's quarterly lunch series, Language Matters. Global Language Project is an innovative educational movement that equips disadvantaged public-school students with the skills to compete in a globalized world and work force by providing free and comprehensive foreign language training to elementary school students. Its Language Matters series brings together business leaders, investors, educational reformers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs to hear thought leaders on issues of global citizenship and to discuss how we can help students become successful participants in a competitive global workplace. Business leaders from companies including Reader's Digest Association, Time Warner, MTV and HBO are confirmed to attend the October 27th event.

Dr. LeClerc, President and CEO of the NYPL from 1993-2011, is credited with guiding the institution into the digital age – one of the most dramatic transitions in history. During his tenure, he oversaw the merging of the branch and research library systems, led more than $500 million in capital projects, created notable programs and exhibitions, and increased the Library's endowment by more than twofold.  Today users pay 18 million physical visits to the Library each year, in addition to more than 26 million global visits online.

"Reader's Digest English is pleased to partner with the Global Language Project for Dr. LeClerc's engaging talk on bilingualism," said Margaret Crotty, Vice President and General Manager, RD English. "His vision to bring the New York Public Library into the digital age and expand its resources to a wider audience coupled with the Global Language Project's mission to introduce world languages and cultures to children no matter what their socio-economic backgrounds is right in line with our goals at the Reader's Digest Association."

Dr. LeClerc came to The New York Public Library in 1993 from Hunter College where he had been President since 1988.  He spearheaded the creation of a digital library, launching the first NYPL.org website—and continues to oversee the digitization of the Library's catalog; its 700,000 image Digital Gallery; and the vastly growing field of downloadable e-books, videos, and music.  The Library, which recently created an integrated catalog of research and circulating materials representing 14 million items, has also entered into new partnerships with Google, Flickr, Apple (iTunes U), and Kirtas Technologies to expand access to the Library's resources.  

LeClerc graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1963 and spent the next academic year studying at the Sorbonne.  He completed a Ph.D. in French literature with distinction at Columbia University, writing a dissertation on Voltaire. Dr. LeClerc has received honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the University of Paris III-La Nouvelle Sorbonne, and Brown University, among others, and he is currently a Trustee of The New York Public Library, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Union College, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the American Academy in Rome, the National Book Foundation, and the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation.  President Clinton appointed him to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is also a member of the American Philosophical Society.

About Global Language Project

Global Language Project is an innovative educational movement that seeks to equip disadvantaged public-school students with the skills to compete in a globalized world and work force by providing free and comprehensive foreign language training to elementary school students.

Language Matters is Global Language Project's quarterly lunch series, designed to support our mission of bringing foreign language instruction to public school children in New York City. The luncheons bring together business leaders, investors, educational reformers, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs to hear guest speakers address issues of global citizenship and to discuss how we can help students become successful participants in a competitive global workplace.

About Reader's Digest Association

Reader's Digest Association is a global media company that connects more than 140 million people in 79 countries with products and services from trusted brands.  It is the branded multi-media provider of choice of original, community-generated and curated content for selected communities.  RDA develops content and delivers products to customers in 21 languages and publishes 87 magazines worldwide, with a total circulation of approximately 34 million and an estimated global readership of more than 100 million.   Its global digital platform comprises 83 branded websites.

Reader's Digest English offers digital English-language learning programs, specially-tailored for adult learners and based on the principle that education can be entertaining. With a generations-long track record of successful English-learning products, RDA made a multimillion-dollar investment to produce a cutting-edge, digital platform to teach English.  Produced with a team of leading educational software developers, pedagogical experts, professional script writers, actors, and musicians RDA's newest online program uses specially-produced movies and the latest speech recognition technology to help users practice English quickly, efficiently and enjoyably.

Media Contact:


Susan Russ

Justyn Makarewycz

Reader's Digest Association

Global Language Project

646-293-6189

415-786-7757



SOURCE Reader's Digest Association