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Indy Library Joins ALA's Right to Libraries Initiative

March 17, 2014

Indianapolis citizens are encouraged to join others from around the country in affirming their right to have vibrant libraries in the community by signing the Declaration for the Right to Libraries, the cornerstone document of the American Library Association's advocacy initiative, "Libraries Change Lives."

2014marDeclarationSigning.jpgALA President-Elect Courtney Young was joined by Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes and other civic representatives who signed the Declaration during a March 14 ceremony at Central Library that served as a launching point for local engagement on the critical role of libraries of all types - academic, special, school and public. Indianapolis is among over 80 cities to become a signatory to the document, patterned after the U.S. Declaration of Independence, whose preamble states the belief that libraries are essential to a democratic society.

"It's important to recognize the library's impact on the lives of children and adults who use our resources everyday to learn, grow and achieve their dreams," said Indy Library CEO Jackie Nytes. "This declaration allows individuals to show their support for all the things the library embodies, such as empowering individuals, building communities, and supporting literacy and lifelong learning."

The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is available at Central Library for individuals to sign through March 24, at which time it will be presented to The Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees. Individuals may also do a virtual signing and download the Declaration via the ALA website at www.ala.org/advocacy/declaration-right-libraries. Thousands of signatures already have been gathered and will be presented to members of Congress during National Library Legislative Day in May.

The signing ceremony occurred as nearly 8,000 representatives of the library industry visited Indianapolis for the 2014 Public Library Association Conference, and as The Indianapolis Public Library continues a strategic planning process to define services for the years 2015 - 2020.