Statement by Christine Lind Hage, Candidate for ALA President

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The challenges to America's libraries have never been greater than in these times of shrinking civil liberties, limited budgets, emerging technologies, and expanding responsibilities for library professionals. It is imperative that ALA empower and support librarians and library workers so the profession can continue to lead in our democratic society.

During my 34 years as a member of ALA, I have served as president of the Public Library Association, served on the Council for six years, and had leadership roles on numerous committees and task forces within ALA, the divisions, and offices. As a member of the Core Values II Task Force, I observed and embraced our diversity of opinion and styles of service and applaud our commitment to common values.

My candidacy is premised on the belief that librarians and libraries are an essential foundation for 21st-century literacy. We provide the information people need to live, learn, work, and succeed in their communities. ALA divisions are helping librarians prepare preschoolers to read, promote family literacy, reduce adult illiteracy--including that of ESL adults--and teach information literacy.

As educators, researchers, and advocates, librarians have led local, national, and international efforts to allow all people to better access, evaluate, use, and appreciate information from various media. If elected, my presidential initiative would be "21st Century Literacies: libraries = literacy = learning = liberty" because I believe ALA has a central leadership role in advancing reading literacy and emerging literacies of the digital age.

The information and digital age creates significant challenges and opportunities for library information professionals. Some of these issues include:

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* Recruitment to the profession -- I would effectively advocate and work to improve the professional image, salaries, and employment conditions of all library workers so that librarianship entices the brightest and best people to join us. We can recruit and retain talented, diverse professionals through scholarships, staff development, awareness campaigns, internships, and mentoring programs. …