February 27, 2009

Obama Speech Highlights How Libraries Serve Everyday Americans and Students

The American Library Association (ALA) and the South
Carolina Library Association (SCLA) lauds President Barack Obama for
noting how libraries assist Americans during the president’s recent
address to Congress.

     The president shared a
story about Ty’Sheoma Bethea, a young student from Dillon, South
Carolina, who went to her local public library to write a letter to
Congress to tell them how students today are committed to their
education and determined to change the world.

 “This anecdote not only shows how engaged the young people in our
country are, but it also sheds light on how important the library is to
these students,” ALA President Jim Rettig said.  Yolanda McCormick,
director of the Dillon County Library System, said, “I’m excited that
she mentioned the library. We’re a poor county and everyone comes here
to the library when they need to use a computer and the Internet.  It
makes me happy that we have these kinds of services available to the
public. I’m glad we were here when she needed us!”

 According to Jim Rettig, “The public library is the only source of
no-fee access to the Internet for 73 percent of communities and a place
where individuals like Ty’Sheoma can access computers and technology as
well as benefit from the trusted guidance of a librarian. I thank
President Obama for sharing Ty’Sheoma’s inspiring story. I hope it
encourages our nation’s governors to use stimulus money wisely to
ensure that every community has a local library – a library open ample
hours with a librarian to help every child like Ty’Sheoma who needs a
place to study or aspire.  Our libraries are important not only to our
youth, but also to adults; libraries are helping to rebuild the economy
through assistance with online job searching and resume development,
education on personal finances, and other services that respond to
today’s pressing needs.”

    SCLA president
Libby Young said that she was elated that President Obama highlighted
libraries in his address.  “It’s important that the general public
understand what kinds of resources are available at their local
libraries.  The fact that Ty’Sheoma was able to use her local library
speaks a lot to what wonderful resources are available even in an
underfunded county such as Dillon.”

more information on how libraries are working to continue serving the
needs of their communities, especially during this time of economic
downturn, go to www.ala.org/economynews. For more information about the South Carolina Library Association, visit www.scla.org.  For more information about the Dillon County Library System, visit www.dillon.lib.sc.us.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I didn't realize that the student mentioned her public library.