Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Barbara Stripling, Candidate for ALA President

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Barbara Stripling, Candidate for ALA President

Article excerpt

I have long been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's call to action: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." I accepted the nomination for the ALA presidency as my call to action.

We, who work in libraries, fulfill a public trust by creating communities of freedom, diversity, and equity that empower individuals of any age or background to participate fully in the information society. Whether it is:

* An obstreperous 1st-grader put in charge of his research group who throws open the door to the library and declares, "Here are your Searchers!" or

* A college freshman struggling to produce a paper on cloning, guided by his librarian to evaluate the information he finds, or

* A recent Dominican immigrant who discovers both English classes and Spanish-language materials in her public library--each has become a participant in a library community.

We all have examples of community building through libraries. It's happening every day. It's what we do. But we cannot take the health of these communities for granted. Our libraries are being challenged to stand up for the rights of individuals to have confidential and equitable access to information. At the same time, ALA is being challenged to build a professional community that supports our efforts to strengthen our local libraries and communities.

As ALA president, I will champion efforts to build community both locally and professionally.

Locally, our libraries become "information commons" that provide access to diverse information and encourage full participation by a public that truly represents the changing demographics of our communities and schools. As president, I will ensure that ALA remains a strong, public voice for intellectual freedom, equitable access, and the right to read.


ALA must not only protect but also promote the rights and opportunities of individuals to participate fully in their communities. I will launch an ALA action agenda around 21st-century skills. Helping all community members develop digital-age learning skills leads to empowerment of all who use our libraries, from the wiggly kindergartner to the wise elder to the traditionally underserved minority.

Throughout my career, I have built community: by developing school library programs founded on teaching students to think; by writing books and articles about the research process, information literacy, inquiry, and literacy; and by tackling the complex issues of equity of access in urban communities in my current work with New York City schools. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.