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Contact: Larra Clark, ALA  Press Officer
312-280-5043

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2003

Libraries nationwide mark September 11 anniversary

(Chicago)  As community centers and cornerstones for the American democratic ideal, libraries nationwide are marking the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.  Libraries are participating in Project Liberty in New York, discussing terrorism in Illinois and keeping library doors open for a continuous 24 hours as part of an effort organized under the banner of “Libraries Remember.”

“As community institutions, libraries of all kinds will join with their users in commemorating and continuing to try and make some sense of this dark day and the events that have followed,” said ALA President Carla Hayden, Ph.D.   “I hope people will continue to use all of the free resources libraries have to offer to connect with their neighbors through local programs, monitor world news, stay in touch with distant relatives via email and even imagine a better world through literature.”

Examples of library programs and commemorations include:

o  Onondaga County (N.Y.) Public Library sponsored “September 11th: A Month at Ground Zero” with Dick Hillenbrand on September 9.  Hillenbrand, a local library volunteer that helps community residents research their family trees, served as a volunteer rescue worker in the ruins of the World Trade Center for a month.  For more information, call Katy Benson at 315-435-1834.

o   The Ela Area Public Library (Lake Zurich, Ill.) will host Dr. Chris Stout discussing terrorism from a psychological framework during “Insights into Terrorism” on September 16.  The author of “The Psychology of Terrorism,” Dr. Stout will discuss why culture and situational factors play an important role in terrorism.  For more information, call Valerie Stern at 847-438-3433.

o      Dodge City (Kans.) Public Library will extend its hours to be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and will show two movies on the event – one in Spanish – serve refreshments and provide for an open discussion following the movies.  For more information, call the library at 620-225-0248.

o      Westchester Library System (N.Y.) libraries are participating in Project Liberty – Westchester’s Remembering by Giving effort.  Eighteen libraries are gathering gently used children’s books for needy children in the county.  More information on Westchester’s efforts can be found at: http://www.projectliberty-westchester.org/.  

o      Mid-Continent Public Library (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) will host its 10th Annual Veterans Salute on September 13.  The library expects between 2,000 and 4,000 people to attend. For more information, call the Lee’s Summit Branch at 816-524-0567.

o      The Bensenville Community Public Library (Ill.) has organized “Libraries Remember,” a national call for libraries to remain open a full 24 hours on September 11.  Bensenville and about 16 other libraries have committed to “stand with doors open wide as a remarkable symbol of our freedom.”  For more information on this effort, go to http://www.bensenville.lib.il.us/911/.

Libraries represent the sum of all human knowledge, and they represent equal access to that knowledge.  Libraries represent freedom of expression, celebration of diversity, a playing field that is level, preservation of heritage, and commitment to the future,” reads Bensenville Director Bill Erbes’ introduction to Web page.

Last year, the ALA compiled book lists, Web resources for children and their parents, and information about American Libraries' acclaimed video documentary “Loss and Recovery: Librarians Bear Witness to September 11, 2001” and made them available at: http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/alscresources/dealingwithtrag/dealingtragedy.htm.

 


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