February 7, 2000 California Center for the Book Expanded and Moved to UCLA

Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

On Jan. 21, the University of California at Los Angeles officially welcomed California's Center for the Book to its new home at the Department of Information Studies, during a program that included the awarding of the UCLA Medal to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The medal, UCLA's highest honor, was bestowed by UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale, who described Dr. Billington as "one of the era's great innovators" in education and in the preservation of America's cultural heritage.

"Moving the California Center for the Book from Sacramento to Los Angeles places this valuable program in one of the most dynamic urban centers in the world," said California State Librarian Kevin Starr, who participated in the program. "The California State Library is providing funding to UCLA to help support the center. UCLA, in turn, will provide seed money to most of the 12 statewide satellite programs to help support their programs."

The partner libraries in the expanded California Center for the Book are the California State Library, Fresno County Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Newport Beach Public Library, Sacramento Public Library, San Diego Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, San Jose Public Library, San Jose State University Library, Santa Monica Public Library, Shasta County Library and Stanford University Libraries.

The California Center for the Book's vision is "to promote the importance of reading; to improve literacy levels in California; to encourage the study of the book, book arts, and printing; and to celebrate the book." For information, consult its Web site at www.calbook.org External, or contact Natalie Cole, Interim Director, California Center for the Book, Department of Information Studies, UCLA, 222 GSE&IS Building, Box 951520, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1520; telephone (310) 206-9361; fax (310) 206-4460.

"We're delighted with the California center's move to UCLA and the new statewide commitment to the national Center for the Book's goals," said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole, who also participated in the Jan. 21 program, along with Michelle Cloonan, chair of UCLA's Department of Information Studies; Robert Rosen, dean of the School of Theater, Film and Television; Tim Kittleson, director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive; and Roger Mayer, president of Turner Entertainment Co. and chairman of the National Film Preservation Foundation.

With its theme "Creativity-Preservation- Liberty," the program also highlighted the importance of motion picture preservation and the announcement of a moving-image archival degree program that is being developed at UCLA as a cooperative project of the Department of Information Studies and the School of Theater, Film and Television and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. In his remarks, Dr. Billington called the UCLA program and a subsequent event that evening in Sacramento an appropriate national launching of the Library of Congress's Bicentennial commemoration, which has "Libraries, Creativity, Liberty" as its theme.

Founded April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It preserves a collection of nearly 119 million items -- more than two-thirds of which are in media other than books. These include the world's largest map and film and television collections. In addition to its primary mission of serving the research needs of Congress, the Library serves all Americans through its popular Web site (www.loc.gov) and in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.

"We will celebrate with pride our first 200 years of Library history," said Dr. Billington. During that time, the Library has grown into the world's largest repository of knowledge and creativity, which it has preserved for all generations of Americans. "We want to take advantage of this opportunity to energize national awareness of the critical role that all libraries play in keeping the spirit of creativity and free inquiry alive in our society."


PR 00-011
ISSN 0731-3527