May 8-18, 2006 Edition

Pat Schroeder

Speaks at Launch

Of "Big Read" Initiative

Washington, DC May 9, 2006—Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, who now heads the Association of American Publishers (AAP), was at New York’s Carnegie Hall May 9 for the launch of “The Big Read,” a new initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts to encourage literary reading by helping to unite communities through books and getting Americans back on “the same page.”

As a 12-term Member of Congress, Mrs. Schroeder was noted for her commitment to education and children’s welfare and has made reading promotion and literacy a top AAP priority since becoming the Association’s President and CEO in 1997. She was responsible for the creation of the highly visible Get Caught Reading campaign, which features well known sports and entertainment figures celebrating the joys of reading for pleasure. In her remarks she highlighted the importance of having books in the home as well as access to well-stocked school libraries in promoting academic success at all grade levels.

“Publishers congratulate the NEA not only for highlighting the problem of declining literary readership in their 2004 report Reading at Risk, but for moving beyond the study to take action to remedy the problem,” Mrs. Schroeder said. “There is nothing that publishers like better than bringing people and books together. I was pleased to learn recently of a reading initiative called “One Book-Two Cities” which will bring residents of Chicago and Moscow together to read the same book— One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I find that particularly noteworthy because not too long ago openly reading Solzhenitsyn in Moscow would have landed you in jail. Publishers are dreamers, and basically optimists. That’s what brings them into this business in the first place. So perhaps we can dream that one day we’ll see a literary pairing of New York and Tehran—both reading Lolita

The Association of American is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’s approximately 300 members include most of the major commercial book publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. The promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s primary concerns.