Sample Rally Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contacts:   [NAME]
                                                                                                                                                       [PHONE NUMBER]
                                                                                                                                                       [E-MAIL ADDRESS]

[Library name] coordinates rally to save [Name City] libraries
Rally kicks off effort to sustain library funding and services

[City, State] -  Thousands rallied today at [rally location] as part of an effort to urge lawmakers to oppose library funding cuts. The rally in [name of community] was in response to [local budget cuts/discussions about library funding cuts.]

[Give details about rally here -- who is scheduled to speak, how many people are expected, where it is being held, an interesting highlight, etc.]

"Library supporters cannot afford to remain silent about drastic cuts forcing libraries to close their doors earlier, lay off experienced staff, eliminate periodical collections and reduce programs and services," [name of spokesperson] said. "Even during the Great Depression, library hours were not cut. Decision makers recognized then what they seem to forget now: in times of economic hardship we need our libraries more than ever, and they are used more heavily than ever. These current cuts are the deepest ever, and they are affecting people in our community who most use and need our libraries."

According to the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2008 State of America’s Libraries Report, Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.3 billion times and checked out more than 2 billion items in the past year, an increase of more than 10 percent in both checked out items and library visits, compared to data from the last economic downturn in 2001.

Not only are libraries a public good -- serving people of all ages and economic backgrounds -- but several state and local surveys show that investing in libraries packs a wallop in economic impact. Florida's public libraries, for instance, return more than $6.50 for every $1 invested.

((PUBLIC LIBRARIES)): Many public library users have reported that high gas prices have kept their families off the road and in their homes. Families that cannot afford vacations are turning to their local library for free activities near home. For example, the Palmyra (Pa.) Public Library summer reading program increased by 163 percent over the past year; Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover, Pa., experienced a 54 percent increase in program attendance; and the Adamstown (Pa.) Library summer reading program increased by 16 percent.

Library users are not only saving money on entertainment, but also finding savings related to Internet access. In South Florida a patron that paid $60 a month for Internet access canceled his service, so that he could take advantage of the free Internet service offered at the Hollywood (Fla.) Public Library, a savings of more than $700.

((SCHOOL LIBRARIES)): Finding information today is a whole different ballgame – one that requires knowing how to use both print and computer resources.  Our children must be able to do it all if they are to succeed in the next century.

Since 1965, more than 60 education and library studies have produced clear evidence that school library media programs staffed by qualified library media specialists have a positive impact on student academic achievement.

((ACADEMIC LIBRARIES)): Great libraries are key to a great education. The volume of information available on the Web has led some college students to believe that if a resource can’t be found online, it doesn’t exist.  This mistaken idea, coupled with concerns about the reliability of information on the Web, and the potential for plagiarism from online sources, has lead faculty and librarians to team up to teach information literacy skills.

Although college and research libraries are an essential part of the learning community and connect their users with a world of knowledge, academic libraries receive less than two cents of every dollar spent on higher education.

"Only free countries have free libraries. Americans cannot afford to lose access to this vital [school/campus/community] resource," [name of spokesperson] concluded.

For more information about what's happening to libraries in [NAME OF COMMUNITY] or to arrange to interview spokespeople, please contact [NAME] at [NUMBER].

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