Now online @ your libraryTM

Contact: Megan Humphrey


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

July 2001

Now online @ your library™

The Campaign for America's Libraries launches new Web site at ALA Annual Conference

There are more than 17 million Internet sites, with close to 3 billion Web pages. Millions of new Web pages, by businesses, advocacy organizations and individuals, are introduced every day. Many might say that there's just too much information out there. So, is there really a need for another Web site about libraries and librarians?

The research resoundingly says "yes." Through surveys, telephone interviews and focus groups, the American Library Association (ALA) has learned that while people say they love libraries, they take them for granted. The research also indicates people do not have a full understanding of what a library and a librarian can offer them in today's information society.

@ your library#153, The Campaign for America's Libraries, will help people understand the changing roles of libraries and librarians with the launch of its new
public Web site. The public Web site will launch during ALA's Annual Conference in San Francisco on June 15, 2001.

The Web site is designed to target various populations of library users, including kids and parents, teens, adults and seniors. The site showcases how they can take advantage of the myriad of programs and services offered at our nation's 120,000+ libraries.

"Libraries and librarians provide an invaluable community service to people -- whether it's completing a dissertation or selecting a college, looking for a job, getting homework help or planning their next vacation," Campaign Manager Deborah Davis said. "Libraries are the source that people rely on to help them through life's critical moments. The campaign's new Web site enforces that idea."

Recruiting librarians is a key goal of the campaign. According to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, librarians are among the occupational groups most likely to be affected by the retirement of the Baby Boomers in the next several years.

In addition to providing information about how to become a librarian, the recruitment section of the Web site will feature several 21st Century Librarians, individuals who demonstrate the diversity and wide-ranging skills of today's librarian.

"We haven't reached a staffing crisis yet," said ALA President John Berry. "But it's important that we address recruitment with this campaign. We want people to recognize that today's librarians are trained professionals who are thriving in our electronic age and serving their communities."

The Web site will feature academic, special, school, and public libraries; ways to make the best use of a library card; how people can support their library, and more.

Libraries of all types are encouraged to help promote the new site. Ideas include:

  • Linking to the new Web site from your homepage.
  • Featuring the site on a list of helpful online resources.
  • Publicizing the Web site by printing the address on flyers, brochures and other promotional materials.
  • Modeling your library's own Web site on the campaign's site.
  • Sharing content on the site with your own library's users (please attribute to ALA if appropriate).

The public Web site is the latest effort in The Campaign for America's Libraries, a five-year public education campaign designed to inform the public about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. The campaign officially launched to the public during National Library Week, April 1 - 7, 2001, at an event involving First Lady Laura Bush in Washington D.C. 3M Library Systems, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Major League Baseball are founding partners in the campaign.

For more information about The Campaign for America's Libraries and how your library can get involved, see the
internal site for the library community..