ALA launches 2006 Campaign for the Cultural Communities Fund

Contact: Lainie Castle

Program Officer, PPO

For Immediate Release

November 21, 2005

ALA launches 2006 Campaign for the Cultural Communities Fund

Goal is $140,000

CHICAGO – As part of a multiyear initiative, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office has begun work on its 2006 fundraising goal for the Cultural Communities Fund. More than $575,000 has been raised in cash and pledges since its inception, including $117,000 in 2005.

The endowment is the first created to support libraries in achieving their role as community cultural centers through diverse and excellent programming. CCF will benefit the communities served by public, academic, school and special libraries nationwide.

At its inception, CCF was awarded a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Under the terms of the grant, NEH allocated up to $350,000 to CCF over a four-year period, contingent on ALA's ability to raise matching funds on a 3 to 1 basis.

Per the terms of the NEH grant, ALA's current fundraising goal is to raise $140,000 for CCF by July 31, 2006. The Public Programs Office and the Public and Cultural Advisory Committee (PCPAC), chaired by Deborah L. Jacobs of the Seattle Public Library, are spearheading the campaign.

“Since its first meeting in January 2005, the PCPAC has done a great deal to raise the visibility of CCF and to raise funds to support it,” said Deborah Robertson, director of the ALA Public Programs Office. “We're fortunate to have the leadership of this group of library programming experts who are fully committed to the CCF campaign and its mission. Together, we raised over $100,000 in just three months. We're looking forward to building on that momentum in 2006.”

“We are pleased to support the work of the American Library Association to promote excellence in humanities programming," said Stephen Ross, director of the NEH Office of Challenge Grants. "Libraries touch schools, communities, and neighborhoods throughout the nation, and success in meeting the NEH Challenge Grant will help the ALA continue to bring the best of the humanities directly to the American people through their libraries."

Organizations and individuals can help ALA meet its 2006 goal by making a contribution online at or by contacting Robertson at (312) 280-5057 or Donors will receive special recognition at ALA conferences, on the ALA Web site, and in press releases. Since NEH will match individual, corporate and foundation gifts, donors also will maximize their support for library programs. Visit the CCF Web site ( for details.

Among the more than 275 individuals and organizations that have contributed to the fund are Benefactors ($50,000 or more): the H. W. Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Public Library Association (PLA), and The Wallace Foundation; Sponsors ($10,000 to $24,000): Barnes & Noble, Logitech and Nextbook; Founders ($5,000 to $9,999): Deborah and Peter Robertson and Christine Watkins; and Donors ($1,000 to $4,999): ALA Campaign for America's Libraries, Barbara Macikas and Howard Blumstein, Susan Brandehoff, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Nancy Davenport, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Mary Davis Fournier, Friends of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., Gerald G. Hodges, Deborah L. Jacobs, Sarah Ann Long, Lord & Taylor, Shirley Murray, National Library of Medicine, George M. Needham, Newberry Library, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Lucie P. Osborn, Thomas C. Phelps, Susan Richards and Rex Meyers, and Peggy Sullivan.

ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The mission of its Public Programs Office is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service in all types of libraries. Established in 1990, the office has helped more than 8,000 libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members. For more information, visit