Public Awareness @ your library

April 8, 2009

Just in time for National Library Week, ALA is going live tomorrow, April 9, with a new @ your library website aimed at raising public awareness. Focusing on what's available at libraries for families, kids and teens, and jobseekers, this website is a pilot project funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and is the first @ your library site to aim ALA outreach directly at the public, a goal of the Campaign for America's Libraries since its inception. The new website is also designed to complement the I Love Libraries public advocacy website. This new website is not aimed at librarians but rather at members of the general public who may not be library users at all or who would benefit from better and more frequent use of library resources, in person and online. The website seeks to emphasize libraries—school, public, special, and academic—as centers of their communities and as destinations that offer an abundance of media for lifelong learning and for entertainment, generally free of charge. In the current economic climate, the "you don't have to buy it to try it" message is an important one to send to the public. By emphasizing the library's role as a place to learn about employment opportunities as well as to develop the skills needed to take advantage of them, we want the website to demonstrate that libraries are positioned as solutions to the financial problems facing the country. Working together, the ALA Public Information Office, Public Programs Office, and American Libraries staff will be tweaking and expanding the site until the more formal publicized unveiling during the Annual Conference this summer. Meanwhile, your suggestions and comments are welcome. Visit the site at