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Contact: Lainie Castle, Asst. Director,  Development

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2003

Oscar winner Michael Moore donates $25,000 to ALA Spectrum Initiative

“Only the beginning,” filmmaker says

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Michael Moore, author, activist and winner of the 2002 Oscar for best documentary film, has donated $25,000 to support the ALA Spectrum Initiative.  Moore originally pledged this support for Spectrum during a speaking engagement at ALA’s June 2002 Annual Conference in Atlanta.

“I am so pleased to be able to share this news with the library community,” said ALA President Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman.  “In a time of nationwide draconian cuts in library funding nationwide, this is a real bright spot.  It was a pleasure to have Michael Moore speak at my program in Atlanta, and we are proud to have him as a partner in the ALA’s efforts.  The Spectrum Initiative is critically important to the library profession and to all the diverse users librarians serve every day.” 

To learn more about Freedman’s 2002 program, sponsored by Dynix, please visit the ALA Web site, under Events and Conferences and click “past conferences and other events.”

After librarians organized to save his book “Stupid White Men” from being censored or pulped last year, Moore has been a self-proclaimed lover of libraries and librarians.  In addition to making a personal donation to Spectrum, Moore has offered to devote a portion of his Web site to promote ALA’s Campaign to Save America’s Libraries, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Legal Defense Fund and the ALA’s education efforts around the USA Patriot Act and libraries.  He also has offered to have several thousand copies of his books and films donated to libraries that are under-funded or dealing with budget cuts.

“This donation is only the beginning of what will be an ongoing effort on my part to rally my fellow Americans to support their local libraries. I intend to raise tens of thousands more, both in my appearances around the country and via my Web site,” Moore said. “I will not allow one of our most precious national resources – our free, public libraries – to suffer any further abuse. It is their budgets that get cut first. It is their staffs who are paid some of the lowest wages among professionals in the country. And now, it is their privacy – and the privacy rights of any person who holds a library card – that is now under attack.

“I am proud to do what I can to support our libraries and their librarians. Without them, and without this basic American right to read a book – any book – regardless of one's socio-economic status, we will surely be less free as a people. Freedom is only preserved when its citizens have total access to all information and the free flow of ideas,” Moore added.

To read more about the USA Patriot Act, Banned Books Week and other intellectual freedom issues in libraries, please visit

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Initiative is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession.  Spectrum’s mission is to improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries in the new millennium.  The Spectrum Initiative's major drive is to recruit applicants and award $5,000 scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students for graduate programs in library and information science. 

To learn more about Spectrum, please visit, or to make a donation to the Spectrum Initiative, go to  With additional questions, please contact the ALA Development Office at 312-280-5050.