ALA Council endorses legislative proposals for universal health care

Contact: Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications,

ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-1546

For Immediate Release,

August 4, 2009

CHICAGO – Recognizing the importance of comprehensive health care for all Americans and its impact on libraries and their users, The American Library Association (ALA) Council has reaffirmed its support for affordable universal health care.

It has sent a copy of the resolution, passed July 14 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, to the President of the United States and all U.S. senators and representatives.

The council’s action reflects past resolutions. In 2005, the ALA joined the Universal Health Care Action Network. In 2006, the ALA endorsed a resolution supporting HR 676, “Expanded Medicare for All,” calling for a single-payer, universal health care program.

The ALA realizes that the rapidly rising cost of health-care benefits continues to inhibit the ability of libraries to create career opportunities for librarians and library workers, stunts improvements in wages and thereby threatens the future of our profession and our libraries.

In addition, the rising cost of providing health insurance has placed enormous burdens on state and local governments, making it increasingly difficulty for them to adequately fund schools and libraries. Also, without good health, library users cannot truly exercise intellectual freedom and civic engagement.

The ALA Council is the governing body of ALA, which is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.