Houston Launches Wells Fargo Program

Contact: Megan Humphrey
312-280-4020
mhumphrey@ala.org

For Immediate Release
September 2002

Houston first of 10 cities to launch local homeownership program

The American Library Association and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage invited first-time homebuyers to a free homebuying seminar at the Acres Home Branch of the Houston Public Library today as part of The Path to Homeownership Begins @ your library™ initiative. Houston is the first of 10 cities nationwide to launch the program locally, which provides libraries nationwide with a list of targeted reference materials and Web sites that will help low- to moderate-income families and minority homebuyers make well-informed financial decisions. More than 50 branches will host multiple seminars in English and Spanish.

The Houston seminar will review the homebuying and mortgage lending process. A luncheon reception preceding the seminar will include speakers Maryann Elerby of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Library Director Barbara Gubbin and Deborah Davis, manager of @ your library™, The Campaign for America's Libraries.

"Libraries are a central community meeting place and a place to gather information," said ALA President Maurice J. Freedman, "so they are an ideal place for potential homeowners to become more educated about homeownership."

Seminars also will kick off this month and in October in Atlanta, Boston, Ft. Worth (Texas), Oakland, Phoenix, Queens (N.Y.), San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. As part of its initial commitment to the national program, the ALA and Wells Fargo have provided grants to libraries in these cities, which have large populations of low- to moderate-income families and minorities. For more information on the program, contact Lillian Lewis in the Reference and User Services Association, an ALA division, at llewis@ala.org.

"At Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, we are committed to increasing homeownership opportunities for all Americans, including minorities, and this program will help accomplish that goal," said Jackson Cosey, senior vice president of Wells Fargo's emerging markets division.

The American Library Association (ALA), the world's oldest and largest library association, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a leading provider of home financing, announced the national initiative July 9 in Washington, D.C. Mel Martinez, secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Olympic speedskating gold medallist Derek Parra, were on hand to help launch the program. Parra, who is the first Mexican-American to compete and medal in the Winter Olympics, will help promote the program.

The list of reference materials is available at local libraries, or by visiting the RUSA Web site. A tutorial and additional information on homebuying also is available at www.wellsfargospecial.com, code word "homebuyer."

"The Path to Homeownership Begins @ your library" is the latest program from @ your library, The Campaign for America's Libraries, a multi-year public education effort sponsored by the ALA to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

Founding partners of The Campaign for America's Libraries include 3M Library Systems, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Major League Baseball, Morningstar Foods Inc., maker of Hershey®'s Milk, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Woman's Day Magazine.