Generous estate gift benefits ALA Cultural Communities Fund

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications, PPO

(312) 280-5286


For Immediate Release

September 2, 2008

Two weeks remain to raise additional $52,000 to meet challenge grant terms

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) announced that an estate gift from Lee Allen Wheeler, a library enthusiast and frequent patron of the Oshkosh (Wis.) Public Library, will assist the ALA Cultural Communities Fund (CCF) in meeting its ambitious campaign goals. The $225,000 contribution will solidify the foundation of CCF, the nation’s first and only endowment to support libraries in establishing and expanding cultural and community programming.

Started in 2003 with a challenge grant from NEH, the fund now exceeds $1.3 million, contributed by an impressive list of more than 450 individual and corporate supporters.
Though initial funding is strong, ALA must raise a final $52,000 by Sept. 12 in order to meet the terms of the challenge grant. ALA seeks the support of members and partner organizations in meeting this goal, which, when met, will secure the benefits the fund will reap for libraries and the communities they serve. To contribute, please visit

Funding from CCF will support the creation of annual professional development opportunities for librarians, turnkey national model programs and a wealth of program planning and presenting resources designed to build and enhance programming capacity at the local level. These activities will strengthen the ability of libraries and librarians to respond to community needs for cultural programming.

CCF is an initiative of the ALA Public Programs Office, which was established in 1990 to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service in all types of libraries. The unit assists librarians across the country by providing leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities in order to provide library users of all ages with cultural opportunities. To learn more about CCF or to make an online contribution, please visit