Rebuilding Cultural Communities in New Orleans

Contact: Lainie Castle, PPO

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2006

Rebuilding cultural communities in New Orleans

H.W. Wilson provides a $100,000 donation, programming support,

and database access to the New Orleans Public Library

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) and The H.W. Wilson Foundation have partnered to provide support to the New Orleans Public Library in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
As a major corporate donor to ALA's Cultural Communities Fund, H.W. Wilson decided to offer support for the New Orleans community with a cash gift to its Main Library, while working with ALA's Public Programs Office to promote cultural programming through a programming grant.

On Friday June 23, The H.W. Wilson Foundation will present a donation of $100,000 to the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library.
In addition, The H.W. Wilson Company will provide the library system with free access to its databases.
The Public Programs Office, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the McCormick Tribune Foundation, will offer the library a programming grant - the
We the
People Bookshelf on "Becoming American."

"Because of the generosity of The H.W. Wilson Foundation, the people of New Orleans will be able to enjoy a vastly improved Main Library," said William Johnson, director of the New Orleans Public Library. "This donation will allow us to replace moldy carpeting in our community meeting spaces, upgrade furniture that is more than 40 years old, and rebuild our circulation areas to best serve our public. These changes will make a huge difference."

"We are so pleased to make this donation to improve conditions at the New Orleans Public Library," said William Stanton, president of The H.W. Wilson Foundation. "It is our hope that, after these changes are made, the people of New Orleans will be able to gather in a terrific public space to enjoy public programming, access to the world of electronic information, and all the other resources the library has to offer. Through our support, we hope to help the New Orleans library in their ongoing efforts to build community."

The H.W. Wilson Foundation was established in 1952 by Halsey W. Wilson, the founder of the Wilson Company, which publishes reference works, full-text databases, indexes, and abstracts.
For more information, visit
or stop by exhibit booth #2016 during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

We the People Bookshelf program is part of the NEH's We the People initiative, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture.
Bookshelf grants are given annually by the NEH, in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office. The McCormick Tribune Foundation provided major support for the 2005-2006 Bookshelf on "Becoming American."
For more information about the McCormick Tribune foundation, visit
For more information about the
We the People Bookshelf, visit

For more information about the New Orleans Public Library system and its rebuilding efforts, visit To learn more about helping libraries in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, visit