For immediate release | May 17, 2011

ALA and PLA announce partnership with America’s Promise Alliance

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) and one of its divisions, the Public Library Association (PLA), are partnering with the America’s Promise Alliance (APA), the largest bi-partisan alliance dedicated to the support and development of children, to ensure the personal and educational success of America’s youth through the delivery of Five Promises: Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, An Effective Education and Opportunities to Help Others.

More than 400 alliance partners work jointly for the success of young people, using the Five Promises framework to shape their efforts and improve the odds for youth. Also, through the Grad Nation campaign, Alliance partners are working to reach a shared goal of mobilizing America to end the dropout crisis and ensuring that high school graduates are prepared for college and a 21st century career. By working across sectors at the national, state and local levels, mobilizing communities to bring the fundamental supports to our most vulnerable young people and aggressively supporting education reform, the alliance is working to help end the high school dropout crisis and transform the life of every child.

The ALA and PLA deliver high-impact, national strategies for libraries that are aligned with APA’s Five Promises, including Connect with your kids @ your library® and Every Child Ready to Read @ your library®, which focuses on libraries as integral to the educational community through tested, research-based materials that help families make a difference in preparing their children for successful reading achievement. The Connect with your kids @ your library campaign, set to launch this summer, will encourage parents and caregivers to spend quality time with their family at the library.

“Our nation’s libraries are essential to prepare children for college and career in the 21st century,” said Keith Michael Fiels, ALA executive director. “Through innovative initiatives such as after-school programs, summer reading programs, the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner from the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) and much more, libraries have always played an important and critical role in the education ecosystem and in the democratic process. ALA and PLA are pleased to join America’s Promise Alliance and to collaborate with other alliance partners on this urgent campaign to ensure educational success of America’s children.”

Your library can also be directly involved in this campaign by registering as a Promise Place. As a registered member of Promise Place, you will receive the weekly online newsletter (America’s Promise Bulletin) and the young leaders’ newsletter (Impact Network Monthly). Registered users will also have access to additional features of the America’s Promise website, including the ability to participate in the 100 Best Communities for Young People competition, My Idea Grants, a searchable grant and member directory and the financial responsibility curriculum (Saving Our Futures).

America’s Promise Alliance supports and celebrates outstanding, community-wide, cross-sector efforts to improve the well-being of young people nationwide though dropout prevention efforts, and by recognizing communities, organizations, schools and businesses that are helping fulfill the Five Promises of caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others for young people. The Alliance is working to help mobilize communities to innovate, collaborate, demonstrate results and celebrate success.

The American Library Association (ALA), the voice of America's libraries, is the oldest, largest and most influential library association in the world. Its approximately 63,000 members are primarily librarians but also trustees, publishers and other library supporters. The association represents all types of libraries; its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

The Public Library Association is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.