Texas, West Virginia Library Associations win

Contact: Deborah Bloom
Campaign Manager
312-280-2148
dbloom@ala.org
For Immediate Release
April 4, 2006

Texas, West Virginia Library Associations win “Quotable Facts” Competition

New “Quotable Facts” booklets and bookmarks available online

CHICAGO — In celebration of National Library Week, the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that the Texas Library Association and West Virginia Library Association are the winners of the first-ever “Quotable Facts” Competition, sponsored by The Campaign for America’s Libraries.

Did you know that:

  • Texas libraries spent an average of about $18 per capita for public library service in 2003? For a family of four, that’s library service for a year for only about $72.00. It would cost $130 for the same family to attend Six Flags Over Texas for one day.
  • Each school librarian in Texas serves an average of 896 students. That’s an average of 45 classes per school librarian!
  • Public libraries in West Virginia outnumber Wal-Marts more than 5 to 1. (174 public libraries and 32 Wal-Marts)
  • On a typical day in 2004, more than 80,000 students and faculty visited W. Va.’s academic libraries, more visitors than the entire population of Charleston, W.Va. and Morgantown, W.Va. combined.

For their achievement, Texas and West Virginia will receive the design and printing of 10,000 copies of their own Quotable Facts. They also will be recognized at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

“As librarians, we are so accustomed to dealing with large numbers of materials, resources, customers, transactions and questions. Using these numbers in a non-library context really demonstrates to the public the magnitude of industry in library work,” said Patricia Smith, executive director of the Texas Library Association. “We know our Texas library community always enjoys sharing this information with the public, and it helps paint a dynamic picture of library work with a few meaningful comparisons. We are just thrilled to be one of the winners of ALA’s ‘Quotable Facts’ competition.”

In November, ALA Chapters were invited to submit at least 10 “Quotable Facts” about their state for consideration. A member committee judged the entries on a variety of criteria, including originality, creativity, how local the quotes were, and how well they incorporated the “value” of their libraries.

"Those who might regard libraries as obsolete in the ‘Internet age’ should take a look at these quotable facts,” said Martha Yancey, president, West Virginia Library Association. “The facts paint a vivid picture of the value of libraries to West Virginians. Our libraries are vital and dynamic institutions, continuing to meet the diverse needs of readers and researchers, from toddlers to students to seniors.”

The competition was developed in response to a Campaign survey conducted last summer. In that survey, ALA members indicated they were interested in more research and statistics to help make the case about their value to their schools, campuses and communities. To read the winning entries, as well as a sampling of facts from state chapters, visit the ALA Website at www.ala.org/quotablefacts.

An updated version of ALA’s popular, wallet-sized “Quotable Facts About America’s Libraries” is also available in English and Spanish on this site in a PDF format. The new piece includes facts about public, school, academic and state libraries. Bulk copies are available in packs of 100 for $25. To order, send a check made payable to the American Library Association to the attention of Mark Gould, Director, ALA Public Information Office, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.

New “Quotable Facts” bookmark artwork also is available for downloading in English and Spanish, in both color and black and white. Four bookmark templates are online—one for public libraries, one for school libraries, one for academic libraries and one for all libraries. They incorporate the new facts mentioned above. Libraries are invited to customize the back of the bookmarks with their own contact information.