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Letter about ALA Advocacy from Richard Dougherty and Pat Schuman 

Apr 02, 2014 08:11 PM

Karen's message to the listserv:

At their request, I am posting to the Council list a letter of advocacy
co-authored by Richard M. Dougherty, Past President and Patricia Glass
Schuman, Past President and Past Treasurer. It is definitely worth


Karen G. Schneider

RMD-PGS statement (final).docx

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Apr 08, 2014 03:03 PM

Dear Fellow Councilors:


I’m sorry for my delayed response.  Before it gets to be too late, I want to address former President Dougherty and President Schuman’s letter to ALA and to ALA leaders.  In my opinion, their words not only captures the spirit of advocacy but reminds us of what it means to be inspired by it.  Most importantly, I believe the words were meant to mobilize us with a newly forged instrument—”The Declaration of the Right to Libraries.” I am very grateful to President Stripling for her vision.  We know that in history, the signatories of the “The Declaration of Independence,” another document of utmost importance, pledged their lives, fortune and honor.  What will we pledge, in return, to save our libraries and our profession? For the politicians who signed the “Declaration of the Right to Libraries,” pledging their vote and support for libraries appears minute in comparison, yet goes a long way for a library to stay open or for a librarian to keep his or her job.  Let us remember those who signed our document at strategic moments.  Take the opportunity to remind them that their signature promises every person in the United States has the right to have quality libraries.  The signings pave the way.


This goes back to the question--what have "we" pledged by signing?  I'm sure every person has a different point-of-view of what they've pledged but at the very least, we should pledge to hold ourselves and our profession in the highest esteem always. It is a living and breathing document, capable of growth through the years. The school librarians have shown us that “The Declaration for the Right to Libraries” can be expanded to address their needs.  I hope that public, academic and special libraries will follow their example, if they haven’t already. I think of Noah Webster (who studied twenty languages to produce his dictionary) and how he helped Benjamin Franklin with the writing of our “Constitution.” Efforts toward producing well-written documents always help us understand one another better. It really is up to us. Thanks to our former presidents for their efforts to rally us.  There is indeed much to be done.


All the best,


Ann Crewdson


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