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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
April 7, 2003

Mrs. Bush's Remarks on National Library Week, 2003

Dear Friends and Fellow Booklovers,

I am delighted to send greetings to readers, aspiring readers, librarians and library volunteers throughout the United States as America celebrates National Library Week. Sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country, this week of special events has been held annually for 45 years to recognize the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

This year's theme, "At Your Library," says it all. Whatever the question, the answer is at your library. Whether you are exploring life's possibilities or simply whiling away a few pleasant hours in the company of fascinating characters, the resources are at your library. And if you need guidance in searching for just the right information, the people to help you are at your library.

As important as it is to encourage library use, even more important is the need to encourage public and private support of our nation's libraries. Every day across our country, dedicated volunteers give their time and resources to their local public and school libraries. Without this priceless help, libraries could not thrive.

The support of President Bush and this administration is most clearly demonstrated by the increased funding that the Institute of Museum and Library Services has received in the past two years and the even larger increases he has requested in the budget for 2004. With Congressional cooperation, the 2004 budget will double the funding for recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians.

I am proud of the President's commitment to America's libraries and librarians. I am proud of every librarian and library volunteer. And I am proud of all those wonderful Americans who devote their time and energies to helping their neighbors, young and old, become a nation of readers.

During this week, I hope you will take a few minutes and drop by your local public or school library. See what they're doing, thank them for their work, and ask what you can do to lend a hand and get involved. You'll be glad you did!


Laura Bush

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