Declaration for the Right to Libraries campaign

Carl Antonucci, Director of Library Services, serves as coordinator for the state of Connecticut for the Declaration for the Right to Libraries campaign. Below is his article from the Bristol Press and an opinion piece from the New Britain Herald.

The Bristol Press 03/09/2014:

SCENE AT CCSU: Declare your right to a library, By Carl Antonucci, Director, CCSU’s Elihu Burritt Library

“The American Library Association has developed a national campaign called the Declaration for the Right to Libraries. Each state library association has been asked to help, and I am very proud to be serving as the Declaration for the Right to Libraries coordinator for the state of Connecticut.

The declaration will provide an opportunity to show our citizens how valuable libraries are and to ask them to demonstrate their support for libraries by signing their names to the declaration.

Libraries really do change lives and empower our users by supporting literacy and lifelong learning.

CCSU’s Elihu Burritt Library strives to satisfy the 21st century learning and research needs of its learners by facilitating knowledge creation and inspiring intellectual curiosity and learning across all ages.
The declaration reads: In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society.

Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries — public, school, academic, and special — and urge you to show your support by signing your name to the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

Libraries empower the individual. Libraries support literacy and lifelong learning.

Libraries strengthen families.

Libraries are the great equalizer.

Libraries build communities. Libraries protect our right to know.

Libraries strengthen our nation. Libraries advance research and scholarship.

Libraries help us to better understand each other. Libraries preserve our nation’s cultural heritage.

Please join me in showing your support for libraries by participating in one of the signing ceremonies that we will be organizing in the next few months.

You can also go online to show your support at ilovelibraries.org/declaration/sign.

And the opinion piece from the New Britain Herald 03/10/2014:

OUR VIEW: Local libraries play a special role in our lives

Did you happen to see your invitation — in Monday’s paper — to declare your right to libraries?

Carl Antonucci, director of Central Connecticut State University’s Elihu Burritt Library, says that this national campaign by the American Library Association is our opportunity to demonstrate support for libraries by signing our names to the declaration.
Longtime readers, of course, know that we are huge supporters of local libraries for all they do for our citizens, young and old.
As Antonucci says, “libraries really do change lives and empower our users by supporting literacy and lifelong learning.” Town libraries do that through offerings for children, often encouraging parents to bring in their little ones even before they can walk. Once they’ve graduated from pre-school gatherings, the kids sign on for the summer reading program, encouraged by their school librarian and enabled by the city’s stock of on-the-list books. And, while they’re in the building, the young people can pick up their favorite movie or (don’t tell Mom) an age-appropriate video game or two.

Teens and, in some libraries, tweens usually have their own spot, a place where quality books compete with the ever-present electronic gadgets they bring with them. But that’s okay. A lot of libraries offer Wi-Fi.

Libraries serve adults by providing the latest books, of course, but also through special programming, book clubs and, for the last five years, by providing job hunting assistance through newspapers with Help Wanted sections, dozens of books that advise about how to get that first interview and computers that connect to the Internet to fill out those online job applications.

And one more thing we noted in Mr. Antonucci’s article: “Libraries are the great equalizer,” he writes.

You don’t have to be rich to take advantage of any of these programs — to share in all of these intellectual riches. The books, movies, music and games are there to borrow and to share with neighbors. The programs are open to everyone living in your town. The wise advice and guidance from the librarians come at no cost (yes, of course — unless you are a homeowner. But the library’s slice of your property taxes is so small, no one complains.)

So let’s join the movement.

As Antonucci wrote: “We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries — public, school, academic and special!”

Join us!

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