Rediscover America @ your libraryTM to launch during National Library Week

Contact: Deborah Davis


For Immediate Release

April 2002

Rediscover America @ your library™ to launch during National Library Week

New tools available to help libraries participate in national initiative

Free countries need free libraries. Americans depend on their libraries to learn to read, to go online, to research vital health facts, to find a job, to understand world events, to explore business opportunities, to seek inspiration and to find food for the soul. This year, the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates the vital role our libraries play in our democracy with a new national media relations and advocacy effort called Rediscover America @ your library™.

The initiative kicks off during National Library Week, April 14-20, with a radio publicity campaign featuring ALA leaders as well as local spokespeople, speaking out about the value of libraries and librarians in our democracy. The goal of the initiative is to remind the public and decision-makers that libraries and librarians are needed now - more than ever.

"Libraries are at the heart of the American dream," says ALA President John W. Berry. "They offer opportunities for education, self-help and lifelong learning. From our school libraries to business libraries, librarians connect us with the resources we need, when we need them, in print and online."

One of the things librarians have discovered in the aftermath of September 11 is that many people are taking a fresh interest in what it means to be an American, especially in today's global society. Increasingly, libraries are being called upon to do what they do best - to serve as resource centers and provide free and open access to information. From hosting panel discussions about the conflict in Afghanistan and the crisis in the Middle East, to providing online access to the latest international news, to assisting with job searches, our nation's libraries have responded to community needs, says Berry.

"Every library has something unique to offer that ties it to the concept of a free people in a free land," added Berry. "I hope libraries of all types all across the country will join ALA in encouraging their users to discover and rediscover the riches available at their library and to support our most democratic of institutions in bad times as well as good."

Rediscover America @ your library is the newest phase of The Campaign for America's Libraries, a five-year public education campaign sponsored by the ALA to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. The campaign launched last year in Washington, D.C., with the help of First Lady Laura Bush. To date, approximately 2,000 libraries - public, school, academic and special - in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the campaign.

For more information and to subscribe to an e-mail list for the latest updates on The Campaign for America's Libraries, see the
Web site. Libraries are encouraged to send multiple samples of how they are involved in the campaign to: Megan Humphrey, ALA PIO, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Email:

Founding partners in the campaign include 3M Library Systems, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Major League Baseball, Morningstar Foods, Inc, maker of Hershey's Milk, and Woman's Day Magazine.