Obama and Libraries

It may be too soon to know how high libraries will fare on President-elect Barack Obama’s agenda, but it’s safe to say that the profession has a special place in the heart of the next president of the United States.

Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington office, says she’s confident that Obama will recognize the “importance of what we do” because he has a track record of supporting libraries in the past. Take, for instance, his address to ALA in June 2005.

“The library has always been a window to a larger world—a place where we've always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward,” he told the audience. More from this article at SLJ.


I hope Obama turns out to be a strong supporter of libraries, but anything that any politician says at a professional conference that is anyway positive about that profession and its goals should be taken with less then a grain of sand in the middle of the desert. I much rather see the article point to a strong record of actually doing things to support libraries. I don't know what he has (or hasn't) done, but if the best the author can come up with is a speech at ALA, I am not re-assured. Also, the article mentions his comments about the Patriot act, but doesn't mention he voted to renew it.

I am sure he supports libraries, he equates jobs there with college dining hall jobs:

Obama and Biden will ensure that at least 25 percent of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries.

It is from their own website

Of course we all know libraries are not public service.

It would be great if he would, but you never know..