ALA Cultural Communities Fund receives $50,000 pledge from H.W. Wilson Foundation

Contact: Lainie Castle

Public Programs Office

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2005

ALA Cultural Communities Fund receives $50,000 pledge from H.W. Wilson Foundation

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is pleased to announce that the H.W. Wilson Foundation has made a pledge of $50,000 to support the ALA Cultural Communities Fund (CCF). The first endowment of its kind, the Cultural Communities Fund will help libraries of all types develop and host programs in the arts and humanities, serving diverse communities nationwide.

This donation from the H.W. Wilson Foundation will be matched in part by a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Under the terms of the NEH Challenge Grant, ALA must meet increasing annual fund raising goals through July 2007. As of August 31, 2005, ALA is still $173,000 short of meeting its cumulative fund raising goal of $377,320.

“H.W. Wilson has been an enormous supporter and friend of ALA, libraries and librarians for many years,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “We are extremely grateful for their commitment to humanities programming in all kinds of libraries, evidenced by this generous donation to the Cultural Communities Fund. We hope that others in the library market will follow their example and get behind this vital effort to increase training and funding for library programs.”

“We're proud to help sponsor this new initiative,” said William Stanton, President of The H.W. Wilson Foundation. “ALA's venerable track record of innovation and dedication to the advancement of library programs makes the new Cultural Communities Fund a natural for our support. With the right backing, cultural programs can do a great job of bringing communities together.”

Donations toward this year's matching NEH Challenge Grant goal will be accepted through September 15, 2005. To find out more or to donate online, visit or contact Deb Robertson, Director of the ALA Public Programs Office.

The ALA Public Programs Office has a 15-year track record developing library programming initiatives, including LIVE! @ your library, traveling exhibitions, book and film discussion series on humanities themes, and other programs. More than 8,000 librarians and libraries have participated, and grants totaling more than $10 million from government, foundation and corporate sources have supported the programming with an estimated average of 3-1 local match. At least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming supported by Public Programs Office initiatives.