ALA Rallies with Reed, Cochran, Grijalva to Improve School Libraries

Contact: Andy Bridges
Communications Specialist
For Immediate Release
June 25, 2007

ALA Rallies with Reed, Cochran, Grijalva to Improve School Libraries

Attention Photo Editors: This will be a camera friendly event

WASHINGTON — On Tues., June 26 at 12 Noon, American Library Association President Leslie Burger and scores of librarians from around the country will join U.S. Senators Jack Reed (RI) and Thad Cochran (MS) and Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ) when they unveil the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act. The bill reauthorizes an essential school library program and will ensure that more schools have highly qualified librarians and the resources they need to help students harness new technologies to find information.

The event will take place in front of a state-of-the-art bookmobile, “The People’s University,” which provides library materials and services to underserved areas in Cleveland Ohio.

Senate Contacts: Chip Unruh (Reed) 202-224-4642 or Margaret McPhillips (Cochran) 202-224-5054

WHO: U.S. Senator Jack Reed (RI); U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (MS); Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ); ALA President Leslie Burger; and librarians from across the country

WHAT: Press conference to unveil the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act

WHEN: Tuesday, June 26, 12 Noon

WHERE: In front of the “The People’s University” Bookmobile on the east curb of South Capitol Street, SE, between C and D Streets (just outside the Rayburn Building)

Also on June 26, the ALA conference wraps up with events stretching from Capitol Hill to Franklin Square at 13th and Eye Streets, NW.

  • Nearly 1,000 librarians and library supporters from around the country will lobby Members of Congress on the urgent need for funding libraries threatened by closures, shortened hours, staff shortages and diminished services; the importance of school libraries to the success of all students; and other critical issues.

  • The Cleveland bookmobile – called the People’s University – will be open to Congress and their staffs from 10 AM– 5 PM. The unit provides full access to the library’s collections and includes Internet capabilities. Specifically, the bookmobile will be:

    • On the House side from 10 AM-1PM; parked at the East curb of South Capitol Street, between C St. and D St., SE (closest to the South Capitol St. and C St. intersection);
    • On the Senate side from 1-5 PM; parked on the North curb of C St., between Delaware Ave. and First St., NE (closest to Delaware Ave and C St. intersection).

  • More than a dozen exhibits of unique, forward-looking services from public, school, research and specialized libraries around the country will be on display in the Gold Room (Room 2168) of the Rayburn House Office Building. About 50 Members of Congress are registered to pose for ALA “READ” posters in the same room.

  • Bookmobiles from 10 cities across America will parade from the Washington, DC, Convention Center, starting at 10 AM, and gather at Franklin Square (13th and Eye Streets, NW) from 1l:30 AM-2PM; visitors are welcome. The following bookmobiles are participating:

Washington, DC: District of Columbia Public Library

Maryland: Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown; Harford County Public Library, Belcamp; Wicomico Public Library, Salisbury; Maryland Correctional Education Libraries, Baltimore

Pennsylvania: Adams County Library, Gettysburg; Bibliotheca, Inc. RFID Library System, Yardley

Virginia: Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville

New Jersey: Burlington County Library System, Westampton

Ohio: Cultural Exchange, Cleveland