Library issues to play important role in upcoming White House Conference on Aging

Contact: Satia Marshall Orange
Director, OLOS
312-280-4295
sorange@ala.org
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2005

Library issues to play important role in upcoming White House Conference on Aging

CHICAGO – Library issues will be on the agenda for discussion at the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) to be held in Washington, DC, December 11-14. Over 1,200 delegates will vote on the top 50 resolutions that will have an impact on federal aging policies, programs and services for the next decade.

“For the first time, libraries are not just mentioned as an afterthought at this conference but have their own resolution for delegates to vote on,” said Allan M. Kleiman, chair of the American Library Association's (ALA) White House Conference on Aging Task Force. “This is due to the fact that older adults, and particularly the Baby Boomers, will have an impact on libraries in the next twenty years.”

Kleiman is one of four librarians who will be delegates at the conference. He is the past chair of the 2005 ALA White House Conference on Aging Forum and 2005 chair of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) MOUSS Library Service to Aging Populations Committee.

In preparation for the WHCOA, 110 librarians and library affiliates met during ALA's 2005 Annual Conference in Chicago to develop recommendations for the White House Conference on Aging. Those recommendations can be found on the http://cs.ala.org/ra/whitehouse site along with other background materials. Delegates will vote on # 60 (entitled “Develop Programs and Services Promoting Use of Public Libraries Among the Older Adult and Baby Boomer Population”). For more information on the resolution, look under resolutions on the WHCOA page.

“Libraries already are providing essential services for seniors like homebound services, large print books, technology training, services to the blind and physically disabled, outreach to nursing homes, consumer education, and library programming,” Kleiman said. “In the next decade they will be able to expand their services for older adults by working in partnership with others in the aging network.”

ALA's WHCOA Task Force will be meeting at the upcoming Midwinter Meeting to follow-up the recommendations made at Annual Conference and to develop implementation strategies.

ALA will be exhibiting at WHCOA through the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS).