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Public Information and Communication

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 21, 1998

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ellen Van Waart
402-471-4004
800-307-2665

Nebraska Community-Library Advocacy Project Launched

The Nebraska Library Association (NLA) Trustees, Users and Friends Section; NLA Legislative Committee; Nebraska Library Commission; and Nebraska's Regional Library Systems announce the launching of a statewide Advocacy Plan to build active support for public libraries throughout the state. The plan, approved by the Libraries for the Future and Friends of Libraries U.S.A., defines community in the broadest sense to include all Nebraska libraries that responded to an assessment of local economic and social trends that affect support for libraries.

The Community-Library Advocacy Project helps to promote "Libraries for the 21st Century," a campaign initiated by the NLA Legislative Committee to improve library service in Nebraska. Two statewide advocacy training workshops will be held in 1999. Two local initiatives, one with South Sioux City Public Library and the other with Bellevue Public Library, will be launched in 1999. Twenty-eight public libraries responded to the assessment of the need for greater public support at the local level. They are public libraries in Ainsworth, Arlington, Bellevue, Cedar Rapids, Grand Island, Howells, Indianola, Kimball, Leigh, Lexington, Mead, Oxford, Pierce, Shelby, Shelton, South Sioux City, Springfield, Stanton, Stromsburg, Tecumseh, Tilden, Wahoo, Wilsonville, and York. Township libraries included are Atkinson, Eastern Library Township/Crofton, Nigel Sprouse Memorial/Callaway, and Rock County Library/Bassett.

The project, sponsored by Libraries for the Future and Friends of Libraries U.S.A. and funded by the Viburnum Foundation, will establish models of public library advocacy in communities with low levels of funding, the potential for high levels of community support, and current challenges to the vitality of the public library. The planners will work toward establishing a network of skilled volunteer advocates to conduct mentoring activities with community groups, Friends of Libraries groups, and other kinds of library users.

Community-Library Advocacy is speaking out for libraries and organizing people to act in support of libraries to ensure that libraries continue to serve our democratic society. For more information, see the Community-Library Advocacy Project home page at http://www.nol.org/home/NLA/advocacy/.

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As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. "Bringing together people and information," the mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development and coordination of library and information services. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Home Page. Point your World Wide Web browser to http://nlc.nebraska.gov/.

Nebraska Library Commission
The Atrium, 1200 N Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508-2023


For more information, contact Mary Jo Ryan.