ALA members invited to discuss role of the public

Mary Ghikas
Senior Associate Executive Director

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2006

ALA members invited to discuss role of the public in democracy at Annual Conference forum

(CHICAGO) Fed up with politics and a widening partisan divide, many Americans are turning away from public life. People often feel their voices are not heard, and local officials are often confronted with angry citizens who do not engage in the political process until they disagree strongly with particular decisions of elected officials.

What has gone wrong with our democracy, and what should we do about it? More generally, what is the public's role in democracy?

The American Library Association (ALA) Fostering Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group (MIG) will sponsor a forum on "Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role," Saturday, June 24 at 1:30 p.m. in Morial Convention Center Room 260.

"This forum is particularly important because it is critical to the success of a democracy that citizens learn how to deal with complex issues in company with people of diverse opinions," said co-convener and past ALA President Nancy Kranich.

For more information on the forum, contact Kranich by email at or co-convener Taylor Willingham at The forum will follow the national model provided by the National Issues Forum, which can be found online at Members also can join the Civic Engagement MIG's DELIBERATE listserv by sending a message to and writing "subscribe DELIBERATE your name." Do not include any other text in the subject or body of the message.