APTS and ALA Announce Extensive Grassroots DTV Transition Consumer Education Initiative

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON–November 29, 2007–The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and the American Library Association (ALA) announced that they are joining forces to launch a grassroots outreach effort to educate consumers about the rapidly-approaching mandatory Digital Television (DTV) Transition.

“A lot of DTV consumer education efforts are being targeted to making sure consumers are aware of the transition,” said APTS President and CEO John Lawson. “Our efforts, however, must not stop there. We need to ensure that the approximately 20 million households that rely solely on over-the-air broadcast television transmissions are not only aware of the transition, but that they successfully make the transition.”

ALA President Loriene Roy said: “Many of those in danger of losing access to free television are among this country’s most vulnerable: the elderly, the poor, and minority communities. These are just the communities that rely on libraries and Public Television as credible institutions for news and facts about events just like the DTV Transition.”

Roy continued: “Libraries and Public Television stations are uniquely positioned to lead a grassroots education campaign about the February 17, 2009 switch to digital television. Libraries and Public Television stations will undertake joint grassroots education efforts that may include activities at public libraries and cooperative programming on local Public Television stations.”

Lawson said: “Partnerships like this that bring together diverse organizations with broad support in different segments of the U.S. population are essential. As truly local institutions with deep ties to the communities we serve, libraries and PTV stations will play a major role in delivering the message to the most at-risk populations.”

According to ALA, libraries may also work with local Public Television stations to demonstrate the DTV converter boxes, which many households will need in order to continue watching television. This grassroots outreach will compliment Public Television’s ongoing consumer education campaign efforts, which include using on-air segments, stations’ printed program guides, Web sites and special mailings.

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The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world with some 66,000 members, primarily school, public, academic, and some special librarians, but also trustees, publishers, and friends of libraries. The Association provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. For more on ALA, please visit www.ala.org.

The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) was established to support the continued growth and development of a strong and financially sound noncommercial television service for the American public. As broadcasters make the transition to digital, APTS is working to ensure the federal government continues its commitment to universal Public Television services. For more on APTS, please visit www.apts.org.

For more information on ALA’s DTV efforts, please visit www.ala.org/dtv.

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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