Magazine article American Libraries

A Week on the Road in the Name of Libraries

Magazine article American Libraries

A Week on the Road in the Name of Libraries

Article excerpt

Tuesday, Tallahassee. Thursday, Chicago. Monday, our nation's capitol. It's a typical week in my life since I became ALA president. And what a heady week it was, working for you and America's libraries.

On Tuesday, September 17, I joined colleagues from all across Florida(*) for a press conference at the State Library, where Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham, a real library advocate, joined us in greeting Public Service Commissioner Julia Johnson.

The commissioner will play a key role, as a member of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Services, in determining discounted telecommunications rates for libraries nationwide.

Behind the scenes, superb staff at ALA's Washington Office and Office for Information Technology Policy provided vital information and support for an outstanding group of Floridians, who demonstrated the critical importance of discounted rates for all types of libraries - academic, public, school, as well as library consortia.

I delivered the 21,000 "equity on the information superhighway" petitions collected by ALA to Commissioner Johnson and plugged the year-long "Kids Can't Wait" and National Library Week "Kids Connect at the Library" themes (see p. 75), fronted by children wearing ALA T-shirts and buttons.

In a parallel event in Washington, ALA Past President Betty Turock presented the equity petitions to the Federal Communications Commission (see p. 9).

Mrs. Bush and the fund board

On Thursday, September 19, I chaired a meeting in Chicago of the board of the Fund for America's Libraries. Among the board members and guests were former First Lady Barbara Bush and choreographer Debbie Allen. Also present were ALA President-elect Barbara Ford, Executive Director Elizabeth Martinez, who envisioned and started the fund, and ALA staff as well as board members and luminaries Newton Minow, Gerald Garbasz, and Fred Ruffner. …

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