On the Billions of Books Campaign

Adopted at 1993 Midwinter Meeting

WHEREAS illiteracy is a serious problem in the United States as is the underfunding of libraries, and

WHEREAS the development and promotion of literacy and libraries is one of the fundamental tasks confronting ALA, understanding that public libraries must play a key role in combating illiteracy, and

WHEREAS the program "Billions of Bucks and Billions of Books" proposes to address these serious problems with a gimmicky public relations campaign sponsored by corporate interests and the banking establishment rather than with a serious effort to assure adequate levels of public funding for schools and libraries, and

WHEREAS the strategy of this campaign further advances the dependence of public institutions on unreliable corporate largesse while turning us away from confronting the political fight for government support for the educational and cultural rights of the public, and

WHEREAS predicating ALA's strategy for promoting libraries and literacy on a "Read-a-thon" and privately funding "national book endowment" is irresponsible and diversionary, and

WHEREAS President Marilyn Miller has not successfully argued the effectiveness of this strategy in dealing with either of the problems,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Social Responsibilities Round Table educate ALA to drop the "Billions of Bucks and Billions of Books" project and, instead, to pursue a serous campaign to mobilize grass roots support for increased and sustained public funding of libraries and schools, a campaign which would not mortgage the future of public libraries to the uncertain (and often self-serving) generosity of corporate philanthropy,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be transmitted to Marilyn Miller, Hardy Franklin, Sharon Hogan, Arthur Curley, Denver Frederich, Blanche Woolls, Carol Neilson, and the library press.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 107, p. 2