Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217
Rick Aspan, Ameritech (312) 364-3570

April 17, 1996

MEDIA ADVISORY
Gift of $2 Million from Ameritech

Media Advisory: Librarian/Ameritech Chairman-CEO Interview

WHO: Opportunity to interview Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Richard Notebaert, Ameritech chairman and CEO

WHERE: Members' Room, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 10 First St. S.E. (enter on First Street)

WHEN: April 18, 5:30 Eastern Daylight Time

WHY: To discuss Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition; to view treasures of the Library and discuss their significance with Library curators. Some of these treasures have already been digitized or are priorities for digitization in the future.

The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition will enable libraries with unique materials relating to American history to apply for grants to digitize their collections and make them a part of the National Digital Library.

A gift of $2 million from Ameritech will make the grant competition possible. It is the largest corporate gift in the Library's history.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, with more than 110 million items, including the papers of 23 U.S. presidents. Its collections are in nearly every language and format -- from Chinese woodblock prints to compact disks. Founded in 1800 to serve the reference needs of Congress, the Library has grown into an unparalleled treasure house of knowledge and creativity.

The Library of Congress's National Digital Library Program (http://www.loc.gov/) aims, in collaboration with other libraries, to digitize and make freely available 5 million items on the Internet by the year 2000. Already the Library is making available such unique materials as the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand, African American pamphlets relating to slavery and the civil rights movement, photographs of the Civil War, political speeches, short films and other rare items relating to American history.

Ameritech (http://www.ameritech.com (external link)), one of the world's largest communications companies, has more than 13 million customers. It provides a wide array of local phone, data and video services in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Ameritech is creating dozens of new information, entertainment and interactive services for homes, businesses and governments around the world. One of the world's leading cellular companies, the company also serves more than 1.9 million cellular telephone and 750,000 paging system customers and holds cellular interests in China, Norway and Poland. Ameritech also owns interests in New Zealand, Hungary, Germany and other nations. Nearly 1 million investors hold Ameritech shares.

Ameritech Library Services develops and distributes library management systems and information access products worldwide. With headquarters in Provo, Utah, an affiliate in Evanston, Ill., and offices in 18 countries, the company serves 3,500 client libraries in 34 countries and is the world's leading provider of library automation software.

NOTE: During a reception following this interview, Dr. Billington and Mr. Notebaert will be joined by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rep. Bill Thomas and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt to deliver remarks and take part in a demonstration of the Library of Congress's digital library program with a media relations specialist from Hammond Middle School in Alexandria, Va. This is open to the press.

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PR 96-60
4/17/96
ISSN 0731-3527

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