American Library Association president to lead delegation to Bedford, Texas

Contact: Larra Clark

Media Relations Manager

For Immediate Release

April 4, 2005

American Library Association president to lead delegation to Bedford, Texas

CHICAGO -- American Library Association (ALA) President Carol Brey-Casiano today announced she will lead a delegation of national and state library leaders to Bedford, Texas. The delegation will meet with Bedford City Manager Chuck Barnett, local library staff and Bedford residents to discuss the current crisis in library funding Tuesday, April 5.

The delegation, which includes representatives from the ALA, the Texas Library Association (TLA) and the Texas State Library, will survey the situation and share technical assistance, advice and information from around the country and the state.

"Nationwide, libraries continue to see more visitors (1.2 billion) and circulate more items (nearly 1.9 billion) every year. Study after study has shown libraries provide about $4 in value for every dollar invested. Where else can you get that kind of return on your investment?" asked Brey-Casiano.

More than 60 percent of Bedford residents are library cardholders, and they check out 30,000 books, CDs, DVDs and other items every month.

"We need to work together to create short- and long-term solutions to library funding crises - in Bedford and around the country," Brey-Casiano said.

After it was announced that the Salinas (Calif.) Public Library would close at the end of the current fiscal year, area residents, business leaders and elected officials "rallied" to raise funds to keep the library open until a long-term funding solution can be found for the city's $8 million deficit. ALA and California library leaders met with Salinas leaders in February.

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members. TLA is a chapter of the ALA.

To schedule interviews with Texas delegation members, please contact Larra Clark at 312-280-5043.