ALTAFF launches “Authors for Libraries”

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/18/2010

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PHILADELPHIA –  The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is launching “Authors for Libraries,” a unique partnership to connect authors with libraries, Friends of the Library groups and library Foundations as well as to keep authors informed about issues and concerns affecting libraries on a national level.  

“Authors for Libraries” is a collaborative effort that grew from an idea presented by Marilyn Johnson, author of “This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.” Johnson spoke during ALTAFF’s Gala Author Tea event during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Mass., earlier this year. With libraries around the country experiencing significant budget cuts as a result of the current economy, Johnson expressed a desire to find a way to connect authors with libraries and library supporters to encourage authors to advocate for libraries on the local, state and national level. “Libraries have always been there for me. Of course I’ll stand up for them,” said Johnson.

Authors who join “Authors for Libraries” for $39 will receive a subscription to “The Voice for America’s Libraries,” ALTAFF’s bi-monthly newsletter. In addition, a hyperlink to the author’s website will be placed on ALTAFF’s website, where library staff, Friends groups and Foundation staff can find information about upcoming tours to assist with scheduling library talks and book signings as well as information about forthcoming books and resources for book groups.

ALTAFF is asking each author who joins to provide a quote about the importance of libraries. These quotes will be collected and made available on the ALTAFF website and used in promotional materials. “I’m thrilled with this new opportunity to connect authors with libraries in a much more direct way,” said ALTAFF Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed. “ALTAFF will use authors’ celebrity to highlight the importance of libraries in the promotion and preservation of our literary heritage.”

ALTAFF will keep authors informed about opportunities to advocate for libraries. Through this partnership authors will help strengthen support for libraries, connect with libraries, stay informed and learn how their voice can help libraries throughout the country.

Inaugural authors include Johnson, long-time library supporters Barbara Kingsolver and Lisa Scottoline, and Roy Blount Jr. Both Kingsolver and Scottoline have been guest speakers in prior ALTAFF programs, and Blount will speak during ALTAFF’s popular “The Laugh’s On Us!” comedy program during the ALA Annual Conference from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 27 in Washington, D.C. at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Ticket information is available at www.ala.org/altaff.

ALTAFF is a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. The new division brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens for libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information about ALTAFF, please contact Beth Nawalinski at (312) 280-2161or bnawalinski@ala.org.

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