By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Today, Assistant Professor of Practice and American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling unveiled a cornerstone of her ALA presidential initiative, the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries” at a signing ceremony at the Nashville Public Library in Nashville, Tennessee.

Stripling's Declaration directly supports her presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, which is designed to garner sustained support for America’s right to libraries. Stripling’s initiative will focus on transformative library practices in literacy, innovation and community engagement.

Stripling was joined by Nashville's library director, Kent Oliver, and other city library leaders and community members. All were among the first to sign the Declaration, which will serve as a strong public statement about the value of libraries as institutions that empower individuals and build communities. Signings are being organized at libraries and other locations throughout the nation.

Petitions will be forwarded to the U.S. Congress by library supporters during National Library Legislative Day activities on May 5 and 6, 2014. Later this summer, the Declaration will be available for online signing.

“Libraries provide services that inspire and empower their users to change their lives through education,” said Stripling. “The Declaration will serve as an advocacy tool to help communities take action and illustrate the value of their libraries and library staff. Our hope is that library supporters will take advantage of this tool and present collected signatures to local leaders and legislators throughout the year.”

For more information regarding Stripling's “Declaration for the Right to Libraries,” or for information on how to participate and sign the document, visit: