On Tuesday, June 26, at 12 Noon, ALA President Leslie Berger and scores of librarians from around the country will join U.S. Senators Jack Reed (RI) and Thad Cochran (MS) and Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ) when they unveil the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act. The bill reauthorizes an essential school library program and will ensure that more schools have highly qualified librarians and the resources they need to help students harness new technologies to find information.
The event will take place in front of a state-of-the-art bookmobile, “The People’s University,” which provides library materials and services to underserved areas in Cleveland Ohio.
At the same time, nearly 1,000 librarians and library supporters from around the country will lobby Members of Congress on the urgent need for funding libraries threatened by closures, shortened hours, staff shortages and diminished services; the importance of school libraries to the success of No Child Left Behind; and other critical issues.
The bookmobile will be open to Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill from 10 AM– 5 PM. The unit provides full access to the library’s collections and includes Internet capabilities.
Specifically, the bookmobile will be:
- On the House side from 10 AM-1PM; parked at the East curb of South Capitol Street, between C St. and D St., SE (closest to the South Capitol St. and C St. intersection);
- On the Senate side from 1-5 PM; parked on the North curb of C St., between Delaware Ave. and First St., NE (closest to Delaware Ave and C St. intersection).
More than a dozen exhibits of unique, forward-looking services from public, school, research and specialized libraries around the country will be on display in the Gold Room (Room 2168) of the Rayburn House Office Building. About 50 Members of Congress are registered to pose for ALA “READ” posters in the same room.
Bookmobiles from 10 cities across America will parade from the Washington, DC, Convention Center, starting at 10 AM, and gather at Franklin Square (13th and Eye Streets, NW) from 1l:30 AM-2PM; visitors are welcome. The Franklin School was the site of Alexander Graham Bell’s first wireless message on June 3, 1880. The following bookmobiles are participating:
District of Columbia Public Library
Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown*
Harford County Public Library, Belcamp
Wicomico Public Library, Salisbury
Maryland Correctional Education Libraries, Baltimore
Adams County Library, Gettysburg
Bibliotheca, Inc. RFID Library System, Yardley
Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville
Burlington County Library System, Westampton
Cultural Exchange, Cleveland
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* Note: The first U.S. bookmobile started as a library wagon in Hagerstown, MD — the Washington County seat — in 1905. Boxes of books were sent to the general store or post office in small towns and villages throughout the county.
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