John Dixon, member of the Dupree Foundation Board of Directors, represented the Afghanistan Centre at the recent American Library Association (ALA) award ceremony at which the Afghanistan Centre was awarded the ALA's Presidential Citation for International Innovation for its ABLE project. See the text of the award below.
The reception for approximately 500 attendees of ALA's annual conference was held on the upper level of the Great Hall, one of Washington's largest and grandest rooms. The Library of Congress website describes the room as having an "elaborately decorated interior, embellished by works of art from nearly fifty American painters and sculptors, link[ing] the United States to classical traditions of learning and simultaneously flex[ing] American cultural and technological muscle." A perfect location to acknowledge ACKU's work to preserve Afghan culture and promote literacy!
Dr. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, was the guest speaker; the award was presented by ALA President Dr. Camila Alire.
2010 ALA Presidential Citation Awardees (l to r): Mr. Erick Toussaint, The Fondation Connaissance et Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (FOKAL) Haiti Community Libraries Initiative; Dr. Anne Weeks, International Children's Digital Library (seated); Mr. John Dixon, Dupree Foundation/ACKU; Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress (seated); Mr. Bingsi Fan and Mr. Yulin Yang, The Library Society of China's National Library Volunteering Project; Dr. John Van Oudenaren, World Digital Library
photo credit: Joan Weeks, American Library Association IRRT International Reception Committee Chair
- For circulating more than 123,750 books through mobile libraries it has established in 32 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces;
- For strengthening literacy efforts by publishing books written in the Afghan languages of Dari and Pashto aimed at the country's many new readers;
- For its leadership in creating and supplying educational materials that use local authors and illustrators and that reflect the information needs of the country;
- For preserving Afghan culture and history;
- For helping to re-establish libraries as cultural and educational resources in a country whose library collections have been decimated by war and poverty.
Washington, DC June 28,2010
Camila Alire, President, American Library Association