Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., reads to local children in celebration of National Library Week

Macey Morales / Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations

312-280-4393 / 5043 /


For Immediate Release

April 7, 2009

Reverend Jackson will highlight the value of libraries during difficult economic times

CHICAGO – In recognition of the valuable contributions of our nation’s libraries, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., CEO and Founder, RainbowPUSH Coalition; and American Library Association (ALA) Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, will participate in a reading event on April 11, to kick off the 2009 observance of National Library Week, April 12 – 18.

During the RainbowPUSH Coalition’s Saturday Morning Forum, 930 E. 50th street,10 a.m., Reverend Jackson and Fiels will discuss how libraries are an important community hub of literacy and learning; and a place people turn to during difficult economic times.

Shortly after the forum, 11:30 a.m., more than 20 children ranging in ages from 5 to12 will gather in the Coalition’s library, and listen intently as Reverend Jackson and Fiels share their favorite children’s books.

As the only government-funded, educational, and social service freely available to children, local libraries play a very important role in supporting children in their development as readers. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is an annual observance by the ALA and libraries across the country.

For more information on National Library Week, visit the online press kit at