Mr. Chapman Goes to Washington

By on

Dan Chapman

Student contest winner sets the theme for National Library Legislative Day.

Danny Chapman of Lake Forest, Ill., is the proud winner of this year's National Library Legislative Day Student Theme Contest.

The contest, which ran in late 2006, invited students from all over the country to submit ideas for the National Library Legislative Day theme and logo to be used on invitations, briefing materials and decorations. For his winning entry, "Check Out the Future," Chapman won a free trip to National Library Legislative Day, which takes place May 1, 2007, in Washington, D.C. He will be visiting Congress with a delegation from the Illinois Library Association. Chapman shares his thoughts for that day with


Julie Andrews is the honorary chair of National Library Week 2008, April 13–19. Read, watch, listen to, or download National Library Week announcements starring the legendary actor.

"I am personally an avid user of my school and community public libraries. That's why I am so excited to help spread the message of how important libraries are to all of us, because education does not end with a diploma. Beyond that idea, however, was the message I had hoped to create for ALA members when they met with the members of Congress. There is a fundamental link between the free flow of ideas and information that libraries encourage and the principles that the flag represents. That is, those who signed the Declaration of Independence and created the Constitution of the United States?the living documents which the flag symbolizes?would likely have been unable to call upon the fundamental philosophies and doctrines had they not been able to read about them.

Similarly, the flag stands for the freedoms embodied in the First Amendment to the Constitution for people to have access to all ideas without interference from government. Without the First Amendment's right to petition the government, the ALA itself would not be assured of the right to have a National Library Legislative Day. Thus, without ideas found in books, there might not have been a country for the flag to symbolize. If there had been no flag, those who would attempt to stop the free flow of information would likely have blocked the ability of people to publish their ideas, leaving libraries unable to fulfill their historic mission."

A senior honors student at Lake Forest High School, Chapman was supported by both his art teacher and Young Adult librarian Kerry Flaherty.

For more information on this contest, please visit: