AASL honors First Lady Laura Bush with a Crystal Apple

Contact: Kathy Agarwal
Communications Specialist



For Immediate Release
July 6, 2006

AASL honors First Lady Laura Bush with a Crystal Apple

CHICAGO - The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce that AASL President J. Linda Williams has chosen to award First Lady Laura Bush with AASL's Crystal Apple.
Williams presented the AASL's Crystal Apple to Mrs. Bush at the
School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning National Town Hall Meeting, during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

The Crystal Apple is given at the discretion of the AASL president to an individual or group who has had significant impact on school libraries and students.

"Since becoming First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush has focused her life-long love of books and learning on national advocacy for school libraries," said J. Linda Williams in her recommendation. "In numerous public appearances, Mrs. Bush has raised public awareness of the critical role that school libraries play in the life of every child and young adult."

A former school librarian, Mrs. Bush established The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries in 2001.
Since that time, the foundation has awarded over $3,000,000 in grants to school libraries.
In addition to the yearly grant program, the foundation recently established a special program, The Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative, to rebuild the collections of those school libraries damaged or destroyed by hurricanes that ravaged that area.

In 2002, Mrs. Bush hosted a White House Conference on School Libraries.
Policymakers, school administrators and school board members were among the guests from across the nation who heard the latest in research and model practice in school libraries.
In 2003, with a shortage of professional librarians on the horizon, First Lady Laura Bush called on the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help recruit "a new generation of librarians" through a special funding initiative. Since then, the Librarians for the 21st Century program has funded 1,537 master's degree students, 119 doctoral students, 660 preprofessional students and 378 continuing education students.

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program.
Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.