Magazine article American Libraries

Dear President Obama

Magazine article American Libraries

Dear President Obama

Article excerpt

As you become the 44th president of the United States of America, probably the last thing you need is more people telling you what they want you to do for them. From the Headquarters of the American Library Association in Chicago, it looks to me as if everybody is asking you for something, and librarians, of course, don't want to miss the boat. But before we get in line with our demands, let me offer one modest suggestion for how to deal with this profession; Let us show you what we can do for you.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In 2005, before you keynoted ALA's Annual Conference here in Chicago, I sidled up to you in the green room with a tape recorder and asked you to talk about libraries. You focused thoughtfully on my questions, one of which was, "Can you tell us more about the effect libraries have had on you?" You answered that although people tend to think of libraries in terms of just being sources for reading material or research, it was a librarian at New York Public Library in Manhattan who helped you find the community organizing job you were looking for. "I probably would not be in Chicago were it not for the Manhattan public library," you said, adding that the librarian had identified lists of potential employers and, "I wrote to every organization; one of them wound up being an organization in Chicago that I got a job with."

People all over the country are using libraries in larger numbers than ever before, partly for reading and research as they always have but also because libraries have become community solution centers where people are learning new skills, meeting their neighbors, and getting practical help with some of life's essentials, such as managing their dwindling finances or, like you, finding a job. …

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

Oops!

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.