U.S. Senator Jack Reed (R.I) was honored on Monday in Washington, D.C. with Honorary Membership from the American Library Association for his continued support of national libraries. Reed was presented with the prestigious honorary membership during a ceremony at the 2012 National Library Legislative Day.
Honorary membership, the ALA’s highest honor, recognizes outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship. Reed, a longtime champion of public libraries, was elected to honorary membership for his continuing and unwavering support of libraries in the U.S. Congress. Reed sponsored every major piece of library legislation as a Rhode Island member of the U.S. House of Representatives and as a U.S. Senator for the past 22 years.
As member of the Appropriations Committee, Reed overcame efforts to zero out library funding and delivered $28.6 million in competitive grants for school libraries and literacy programs in the 2012 Appropriations law.
“I am honored and grateful to receive these prestigious awards,” Reed said. “I’d like to thank the ALA, the ASSL, and the librarians of Rhode Island who nurtured my love of books as a young man, and whose wisdom and dedication helped inspire me to take action and focus attention and resources on libraries nationwide.”
“Andrew Carnegie, a great Honorary ALA member, once said: ‘A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.’ I agree. Libraries play a central role, not just in education but also as a place where the community can come together, a source of common ground and knowledge. And today, with more people turning to libraries as a technology and job hunting resource, libraries are more important than ever.”
“Senator Reed has been a strong champion, ensuring that all citizens can benefit from important library services,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington office.
In addition to receiving honorary membership, Carl A. Harvey II, president of the American Association of School Librarians (ASSL), presented Senator Reed with the Crystal Apple award. The Crystal Apple recognizes individuals or groups who have had significant impact on school libraries and students.
To learn more about the honorary membership, go to www.ala.org/awardsgrants.