Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Carol A. Brey, Candidate for ALA President. (ALA Election)

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Carol A. Brey, Candidate for ALA President. (ALA Election)

Article excerpt

I began working at my local public library at the age of 16 and knew I had found my life's work almost from the beginning. When I decided to go to library school at the University of Illinois, Alice, a seasoned reference librarian, told me, "You'll never make a lot of money in this business." That may be true, although we are working to change that through ALA's Better Salaries and Pay Equity Initiative. I have had more than my share of challenging, rewarding library positions, beginning with that of bookmobile librarian for the Ozark Regional Library in rural southeastern Missouri, to serving as the youngest director of the Muskogee (Okia.) Public Library at age 25. Today, I am the director of the El Paso (Tex.) Public Library, which serves nearly one million people on the U.S.-Mexico border.

I bring to this candidacy more than 22 years of experience as a public librarian, in addition to 20 years as an active member of ALA and its chapters in Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, New Mexico, and Texas. I have served "in the trenches" as a librarian, just like many of you, and I am well acquainted with the issues and concerns that are most important to all of us.

As president of ALA, I pledge to lead our organization in the following initiatives:

* Promotion of literacy and the freedom to read for all.

* Protection and defense of intellectual freedom, including unfiltered access to information.

* Safeguarding our patrons' privacy, now threatened by the USA Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act, and related laws and regulations.

* Bridging the digital divide, ensuring that everyone has the technology needed to access information.

* Support for the ALA Better Salaries and Pay Equity Initiative.

* Funding of recruitment and retention programs such as the Spectrum Scholarship program, to increase diversity in our profession.

* Expansion of ALA initiatives such as the Sister Libraries/Bibliotecas Hermanas program that encourages U.S. librarians to interact with and learn from our colleagues in other countries.

* Planning for the future, building on recent planning initiatives ALAction 2005 and Goal 2000. …

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