For immediate release | January 15, 2021

Library champion Sen. Jack Reed spotlights library advocacy at ALA Midwinter Virtual

WASHINGTON - The American Library Association (ALA) announced today that U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will participate in ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits virtual meeting on Saturday, Jan. 23, from 3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. CT. Sen. Reed will join a conversation with ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., about opportunities and challenges for libraries in the 117th Congress.

“It is an honor to have Sen. Reed join the ALA Midwinter Virtual Meeting,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “Sen. Reed is, hands-down, the foremost champion of America’s libraries in Congress and a living legend for longtime library advocates.”

In the interview, prerecorded days after the Jan. 6 siege on Capitol Hill, Sen. Reed explains his dedication to libraries, shares his expectations for libraries under new leadership in the White House and Senate, and offers advice for establishing relationships with elected officials.

“Sen. Reed’s support for libraries is based on his personal experience,” said Jefferson. “He visits libraries in his state, he talks with librarians and he knows better than anyone on Capitol Hill how libraries have pivoted their services and hold their communities together, even when their doors aren’t open,” said Jefferson.

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020, Sen. Reed rallied congressional support to provide relief funding for the nation’s libraries. He successfully led efforts to include $50 million for America’s libraries in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Later calling for additional relief funding for libraries, he introduced the Library Stabilization Fund Act and the Build America’s Libraries Act to repair and construct modern library facilities in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Sen. Reed has sponsored virtually every major piece of library legislation throughout his career and, for more than a decade, led annual campaigns in Congress to increase federal funding for libraries and ensure that library services are accessible to all. Thanks to Sen. his leadership and the work of ALA advocates, IMLS recently gained its eighth consecutive increase in annual federal appropriations.

Sen. Reed has received numerous awards from the library community, including Honorary Membership by ALA, the Crystal Apple from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and multiple recognitions from the Rhode Island Library Association.

The ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits is one of the nation’s largest professional events for the library information industry, offering meetings, programs, discussion groups, events, in-depth conversations and exhibits.

Media interested in registering for the event or arranging interviews with library leaders are encouraged to contact Macey Morales, deputy director, ALA Communications and Marketing Office at (312) 280-4393 or mmorales@ala.org, or Steve Zalusky, Communications Specialist, ALA Communications and Marketing Office, at (312) 280-1546 or szalusky@ala.org.

For additional information regarding the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits virtual visit https://2021.alamidwinter.org/.

About the American Library Association

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.

Related Links

https://2021.alamidwinter.org/

Contact:

Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy

shines@alawash.org

(202) 403-8208