Thinkfinity @ your library features new online resource to help supporters advocate for libraries

Contact: Mark Gould


ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-5041


For Immediate Release

March 31, 2009

(CHICAGO) “Add It Up: Libraries Make the Difference in Youth Development and Education” is a new web-based resource that helps advocates make the case for libraries. The site contains talking points, statistics, and links to research that equip library advocates with information to speak articulately on behalf of the impact libraries have on school age children.

To learn more about the “Add it up” web site, visit, a collection of resources featuring librarian specific content from ALA. is the Verizon Foundation’s comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided in partnership with many of the nation’s leading educational and literacy organizations. Content for is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation’s leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy.

“Add It Up” makes the case for libraries as being indispensable in the lives of students, from preschool through high school. An example of the type of material available includes this talking point and research:

“Public library programming and books for children make a difference. Public libraries provide engaging programs and amazing collections that help students from all backgrounds become excited and enthusiastic readers.

“Programming and outreach for children and young adults is an important part of public library services. In 2006, there were over 102,000 library programs geared towards young adults with a total attendance of 2.1 million students. Under school outreach efforts, 70% of libraries reported that classes visited the library and 73% reported that the library visited classes. Libraries also reported strong partnerships with other organizations to serve youth: 66% with youth organizations, 54% with recreational organizations, 52% with cultural organizations, and 38% with health or mental health organizations. In 2006, 77% of libraries reported they had a children’s or young adult page on their website.”

According to Keith Michael Fiels, executive director, American Library Association, “A growing body of research and studies now proves what the library community already knows is true: libraries are indispensable in the lives of children and teens. The problem is that until now, it has been difficult to distill all that data into products that library advocates can easily use and funders can easily understand. This new online resource does just that. The goal is to help library advocates articulate the positive, transformational impact that public libraries and school library media programs have on children and teens.”