ALA reports strong funding for Cultural Communities Fund; Seeks $300,000 in 2005

Contact: Deb Robertson

Director, PPO

For Immediate Release

March 10, 2005

ALA reports strong funding for Cultural Communities Fund; Seeks $300,000 in 2005

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) reports that it has reached its 2004 goal for its newest endowment, the Cultural Communities Fund (CCF). Once the capital campaign is complete, the fund will support local libraries across the country in establishing community and cultural programs. To date, the fund has received a $350,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and more than $200,000 in contributions from individuals and organizations.

ALA’s immediate goal is to raise an additional $300,000 by July 31, 2005, in order to receive $150,000 in matching funds from the NEH. The long-term goal is to raise a total of $5 million for the endowment by 2010. Organizations and individuals are invited to help ALA meet its 2005 goal by making a contribution online at or by contacting Deb Robertson, director of the ALA Public Programs Office, at (312) 280-5057 or Donors will receive special recognition at ALA conferences, on the ALA Web site, and in press releases. Visit the CCF Web site ( for details.

“I am happy to contribute to the Cultural Communities Fund,” said Margaret Clark of the Kansas City Public Library. “Over the years, our library has benefited greatly from the efforts of ALA’s Public Programs Office. It is a great group to work with and I have enjoyed our association – they are helpful, responsive, and committed to libraries and the humanities. I only wish to further that goal.”

Among the more than 150 individuals and organizations that have contributed to the fund are benefactors ($50,000 or more) The Wallace Foundation, the Public Library Association, and NEH; founders ($5,000 or more) Deborah and Peter Robertson and Christine Watkins; donors ($1,000 to $4,999) Barbara Macikas and Howard Blumstein, ALA Campaign for America's Libraries, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., Lord & Taylor, Shirley Murray, The National Library of Medicine, George M. Needham, The Newberry Library, Lucie P. Osborn, and Peggy Sullivan.

The funds raised for the Cultural Communities Fund will create an endowment to support cultural programming efforts in all types of libraries. ALA plans to increase the visibility of library programming and the expertise of librarians who are responsible for their library’s programming efforts through training, continuing education, model programs and programming grants to libraries. For more information on the Cultural Communities Fund, please visit

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office, which administers the Cultural Communities Fund, is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service.