Magazine article American Libraries

Brey-Casiano Presidency to Center on Advocacy

Magazine article American Libraries

Brey-Casiano Presidency to Center on Advocacy

Article excerpt

"We probably do not make enough of an effort to stand up and speak out regarding those issues that are important to us as librarians," said Carol Brey-Casiano, the Association's new vice-president/president-elect, who takes on her presidential duties in July 2004 (AL, June/July, p. 8).

In a June 10 American Libraries interview, Brey-Casiano, director of the El Paso (Tex.) Public Library, said she plans to center her presidential year on advocacy efforts with a focus on literacy. "If we knew how to speak better to our communities, to our decision-makers, we could really accomplish something," she explained. "We have done a good job of training people in library advocacy, but I think there is still a perception within our profession that there are only a few good people who are effective advocates. We must ensure that we are all advocates on the grassroots level."

Brey-Casiano, whose father was a marine in the Korean War, describes herself as a "flag-waver." "I grew up in a household where we understood from the time we were very young what the Constitution meant to this country and what democracy was all about," she pointed out. "You cannot be an effective citizen participating in democracy if you cannot read."

Other issues

In addition to spotlighting advocacy concerns, Brey-Casiano revealed that she would continue the efforts underway by 2003-2004 ALA President Carla Hayden to promote equity of access and the move to improve salaries within the profession that was spearheaded by Immediate Past President Maurice Freedman. "We're the heart of the library and we can't have effective libraries without well-paid, effective people who work in them," she maintained. "I do believe that as part of my message we can also advocate for the people who run our libraries."

Ongoing plans to lure students to the profession need to continue and be strengthened, according to Brey-Casiano. …

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