Sunday, June 26, 2005

Putting some money where the scan is

I sit on the committee that works with ALA's Office of Public Programs. Last year, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Office a challenge grant to build the Cultural Communities Fund (CCF), which would allow the Office to continue funding great programs like "Let's Talk About It, Writers Live @ the Library, and Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation. In other words, the Office is the main center of ALA activity for making libraries a Third Place.

The fundraising for this challenge grant is going pretty slowly, and in order to qualify for the next release of funds, we need to raise $266,000 by July 31. This is a three-to-one challenge grant, which mean NEH gives the Office $1 for every $3 it raises. ALA divisions and offices cannot donate to match this money, unfortunately, because NEH does not consider this new money. PLA has already given $50,000 to the CCF, for example.

If you are in a position to contribute anything, please go to the ALA donation web site. Even if you don't like some of the other directions ALA takes, my guess is that if you're reading this blog, you probably like the idea of making programs available for public and academic libraries to spark discussions within their communities.

Deb Jacobs, the simply fabulous director of Seattle Public Library and chair of the Public Programs Committee, Deborah Robertson, the director of the Office, and the rest of the staff and the committee are making the full court press here at the ALA conference, but most of this support is going top need to come from the community. So please consider making a donation.

And if you are also a blogger, please consider reposting this request to your blog.

Thanks for considering this!

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