ALA announces AccessAbility @ your libraryTM

Contact: Lainie Castle


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

August 7, 2001

ALA announces AccessAbility @ your library™

As part of The Campaign for America's Libraries, the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce AccessAbility @ your library™, a national program launching this month, developed by Easter Seals and ALA. The goals of the program are to educate children and adults about people with disabilities and to promote the library as a community resource for people of all ages and abilities to obtain information about disabilities.

AccessAbility @ your library is one way in which ALA is working to implement its new Library Services for People with Disabilities Policy. The policy was passed in January 2001 and states: "ALA, through its divisions, offices and units, and through collaborations with outside associations and agencies is dedicated to eradicating inequities and improving attitudes and services and opportunities for people with disabilities." Library services that meet the needs of people with disabilities will grow as sensitivity increases.

"Libraries should use strategies based on the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources and services meet the needs of all people," said ALA President John W. Berry. "ALA is proud to work with Easter Seals on the AccessAbility @ your library reading initiative. Easter Seals is an ideal partner for this effort because of their strong local impact and long-standing commitment to create solutions that the change lives of children and adults with disabilities."

ALA has compiled reading lists for
children and
adults to use in the AccessAbility program. The lists were prepared by members of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), divisions of ALA.

"As the nation's leading non-profit provider of services to people with disabilities, Easter Seals is honored to partner with the ALA because of its long-standing commitment to lifelong education, diversity, equity of access and literacy," said James E. Williams, Jr., president and CEO of Easter Seals. "And, as public libraries are such an integral part of every community, they offer a rare opportunity to reach not only our nation's 54 million people with disabilities, but people of all ages and all abilities."

@ your library™, The Campaign for America's Libraries, is a five-year public education initiative sponsored by ALA to promote the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. 3M Library Systems, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Major League Baseball and Morningstar Foods Inc., maker of Hershey®'s Milk, are founding partners in the campaign.

"One of the campaign's key messages is that libraries are places of opportunity for all, and AccessAbility @ your library helps to communicate this message," said Campaign Manager Deborah Davis.

Easter Seals will be approaching approximately 20 libraries in targeted areas to pilot the program, which may expand to additional sites following the launch. For more information, please contact Joan Fishman in the Easter Seals national office at 312-551-7136. Program information can also be obtained from the Easter Seals Web site,