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Washington, D.C.
April 3, 2001

Remarks for Laura Bush for National Library Week Celebration and American Library Association's @ Your Library Event

As delivered.

Thank you very much, Molly, and thank you for the library card.

I'm doubly pleased to be at the Northeast Branch Library - a beautiful and historic building - to celebrate National Library Week and to encourage every American to go to your local library and sign up for a library card.

Having worked as a librarian, libraries are among my favorite places.

In the words of Washington University Professor William H. Gass: "The library is meant to satisfy the curiosity of the curious, and offer to stuff students with facts. It is supposed to supply handbooks to the handy, novels for insomniacs and scholarship for the scholarly.

And the library, he adds, "provides a place for the lonely where they may enjoy the companionship and warmth of the word."

I couldn't agree more. And, like many librarians, I have found the most valuable item in my wallet to be my library card. That's why I am glad to get my DC library card today…and why I hope Americans will do the same in their hometowns.

Also, since libraries cannot thrive without the support of the people they serve, I urge Americans to volunteer for local Friends of the Library organizations. If your community doesn't have one, consider starting one, to help your local libraries…and your local librarians.

I want to thank the librarians for joining us today. A librarian's job is an important one. Our nation runs on the fuel of information and imagination that libraries provide each day, and librarians are in charge of collecting, cataloguing and distributing it to patrons. Librarians help educate and inform the public, and by doing so, they strengthen our great democracy.

The places they work - our libraries - are community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to everyone, equally…And the key to that treasure chest is a library card.

I'm proud to join the National Library Week Celebration, and I urge Americans to sign up for a library card…and dive in to a world of good reading at your local library.

And now, for the moment baseball fans have been waiting for…I'm pleased to introduce Mike Bordick…Mike, of course, is an All-Star shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, and he graciously agreed to put down his glove and pick up a book and read to our young guests today. Mike, are you ready?

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