For immediate release | January 17, 2012

American Library Association invites President Obama on a school library tour

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association commends the first family for its service to a school library on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On Monday Jan. 16, President Obama and the first lady helped build bookshelves, paint the walls and construct a reading corner for students in the Browne Education Center’s school library in Washington, D.C.

ALA President Molly Raphael said, “We’re thrilled that President Obama highlighted the importance of school libraries with his visit. School libraries are an essential component to a robust education, and the President's help makes one elementary school's library an even more attractive place to learn. We hope he’ll continue to visit school libraries as part of his efforts to improve American education.”

The American Library Association (ALA) sent a letter (PDF) to President Obama and the first lady thanking the first family for their service work and inviting the Obamas to tour an up-to-date, fully staffed, school library, so they could see firsthand what an important role school libraries play in today’s schools.

Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, wrote “It is quite fitting that your work at the Browne school library came on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, because a fully funded, up-to-date school library is a place where children, regardless of background, can have equal access to all types of educational materials, furthering Dr. King’s legacy of justice and equality for all.”