Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Nancy Kranich, Candidate for ALA President

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Nancy Kranich, Candidate for ALA President

Article excerpt

When I first read to preschoolers as an intern on the Madison Public Library bookmobile, produced programs for young adults, and provided community information services to senior citizens, I recognized the unique value of libraries in people's lives. Today, as associate dean of New York University Libraries, I am convinced that our libraries are essential to the success of every member of our society. This is why I have devoted so much of my professional life advocating for library funding, fighting for freedom of information and equitable access, and championing services for youth.

The public's information rights

Speaking out for the public's information rights on behalf of the American Library Association works. As current chair of ALA's Legislation Committee and through other legislative efforts, I have worked to ensure free electronic access to government information, future protection for fair use, subsidized telecommunications rates for schools and libraries, new programs, and increased funding for all types of libraries. I have helped these right-to-know efforts succeed by building successful partnerships like the Coalition on Government Information, securing ALA's first right-to-know grant, launching our first media-training program, testifying before Congress, and negotiating agreements between ALA and other stakeholders.

While ALA is a large and complex organization, the various leadership positions I have held - including the ALA Executive Board, the Legislation Committee (chair), and the Coalition on Government Information (chair) - have taught me how to get things done within the organization.

I also know how to communicate our message to decision makers effectively. I have advocated for librarians, libraries, and users in more than 50 publications, 150 presentations, and numerous media interviews - including National Public Radio and C-Span. As the manager of a major university research library with a strong commitment to public service, I understand how to marshal people and resources to achieve goals.

Public support like never before

I accepted the nomination for ALA president because I believe that ALA and its chapters can profoundly influence funding and public policy. ALA provides us the platform and the resources. When we speak out articulately, with a unified voice, we can galvanize public support for libraries and librarianship. …

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