Thursday, May 25, 2006

Reception for Preservation Educators; Austin City Council Meeting

This week the iSchool's Kilgarlin Center has hosted a number of preservation educators from around the world. I was fortunate to meet several of the attendees at a reception tonight.

I then headed to the Austin City Council to attend a hearing on the proposed Bond Election for November 2006. Along with a number of other speakers, I addressed supporting bonds for the construction of a new public central public library. Here's a copy of my 3 minute talk:

Good evening. My name is Loriene Roy. I am a citizen of Austin. I am also as a long time member of the American Library Association and was recently elected President-Elect of ALA and President-Elect of the ALA-Allied Professional Association, a companion non-profit organization that promotes the professional interests of library workers. Founded in 1876, ALA, with its more than 66,000 members, is the largest general membership library organization in the world.

I am here tonight to voice my support for funding a new central library for our city.
A city that cares about education, live events, personal expression, cultural identity, and just being weird is worthy of a new central library. Vibrant cities have vibrant libraries.

I have been fortunate to visit libraries in other locations and seen the future of the strong central library in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago. These public libraries are not your mother’s or father’s public library. Austinites are worthy of having neighborhood libraries close at hand and a central library that will define the direction of a community’s literacy and support for reading and culture.

Public libraries are still locations where you can find a good book to read and also electronic books, public Internet access, and training on the use of statewide databases such as the genealogy database, HeritageQuest. Public libraries are also dynamic and wired social spaces. They offer meeting room space for writers and book clubs, poetry groups, ESL services and literacy programs. They are staffed by librarians and other library workers who serve as reader’s advisors, information specialists, collection organizers, and event planners.

New central libraries have economic benefits. The new Central Library in Seattle is directly responsibility for netting $16 million in new dollars, a figure that is expected to total $155 by 2014, its first decade of operation.

So, I ask you to support the construction of a new central library. I hope that you will
build it quickly so that I can broadcast our good news with the nation and the world.