Skip to content

Obama on Libraries and Librarians in 2005 at ALA

This is worth adding to your advocacy file. (Thanks Gary)
President Obama’s 2005 Address at the ALA Annual Conference
(Context – he was a new junior senator, hadn’t started runnng for prez and ALA was miraculously prescient.)
This keynote address was given by Barack Obama at the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. He was a U.S. Senator from Illinois at this time.
“Bound to the Word: Guardians of truth and knowledge, librarians must be thanked for their role as champions of privacy, literacy, independent thinking, and most of all reading.”
From the Address:
“More than a building that houses books and data, the library represents a window to a larger world, the place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward and the human story forward. That’s the reason why, since ancient antiquity, whenever those who seek power would want to control the human spirit, they have gone after libraries and books. Whether it’s the ransacking of the great library at Alexandria, controlling information during the Middle Ages, book burnings, or the imprisonment of writers in former communist block countries, the idea has been that if we can control the word, if we can control what people hear and what they read and what they comprehend, then we can control and imprison them, or at least imprison their minds.”
“At the dawn of the 21st century, where knowledge is literally power, where it unlocks the gates of opportunity and success, we all have responsibilities as parents, as librarians, as educators, as politicians, and as citizens to instill in our children a love of reading so that we can give them a chance to fulfill their dreams. That’s what all of you do each and every day, and for that, I am grateful.”
Source: ALA
Read it. Use it. When people lead they need followers. Advocacy includes followership.

Posted on: January 22, 2009, 8:09 am Category: Uncategorized