American Library Association testifies in support of new D.C. Public Library

Contact: Bernadette Murphy

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410
For Immediate Release:

October 27, 2006

American Library Association testifies in support of new D.C. Public Library

(WASHINGTON) Today the American Library Association (ALA) will voice its support for a new building to house a central public library that would offer 21st Century library services to all Washington, D.C. residents. ALA Washington Office staff member and District resident Carrie Russell delivered testimony in support of a revitalized and improved central public library at the District of Columbia City Council meeting.

ALA supports a strong central public library for District residents that would be the hub of cultural life in the city, offering exceptional collections of books and periodicals and also providing high-speed public access computing, abundant meeting rooms where community groups can gather, and innovative programming for children and teens. Russell said, "Today's library is not the hushed, dusty space some of us still imagine when we think 'library.'
Instead, today's library is dynamic, constantly adapting to the needs of its patrons, and committed to providing people with free access to good information. The capital city of the greatest democracy in the world deserves the kind of library that is the pride of so many other American cities."

She added, "Washington needs a 21st Century Library that offers top-of-the line library services to our residents and reflects the essential role Washingtonians play in the world. I worry about the message are we sending to our children if we spend $600 million on a baseball stadium but fail to make a real commitment to literacy by giving District residents a library we can use and be proud of."

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with some 65,000 members, primarily school, public, academic and some special librarians, but also trustees, publishers, and friends of libraries.
The Association's mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.