Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 86.djvu/1657
86 STAT. ]
PROCLAMATION 4116-IVlAR. 13, 1972
right to express ourselves freely on any subject and the right of access to the expressions of others. Today, with high-speed presses, mass distribution of printed matter, and well-stocked libraries, we may carelessly assume that the knowledge contained in books is equally available to all Americans. But the right to read requires more than just the availability of books. It also requires the ability to read. In spite of our commitment to the concept of universal education, millions of our citizens are still so deficient in reading skills that the covers of books are closed to them. It is incumbent upon all who desire a better America, public officials and private citizens alike, to help improve both our intellectual resources and the free flow of information within and across our national boundaries.
First, we must abolish functional illiteracy so that all our citizens, rich and poor alike, will have a better chance to learn from the accumulated wisdom of man. This is the goal of our "Right to Read" program, and to achieve it we must not only eliminate the existing reading and literacy deficiencies of today, but also reform our educational institutions so that these problems will not reoccur tomorrow. Second, we must continue to foster the growth of learning and culture by protecting intellectual production through copyright. During the course of this year, the United States and other member countries of the Universal Copyright Convention will be considering adherence to the 1971 revisions of the Universal Copyright Convention, which strengthen international copyright protection for American works and assist developing countries to meet their need for educational materials. At the same time, we should continue our efforts in this country to modernize our own copyright laws. In recognition of the importance of books in our society, and the observance by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of the year 1972 as International Book Year, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 149 of December 15, 1971, has requested the President to issue a proclamation designating 1972 as International Book Year. NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim 1972 as International Book Year in the United States. I call upon the people of the United States, interested groups and organizations, appropriate officials of the Federal Government and of State and local governments to provide for the observance of International Book Year with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
^ UST 2731.
ss Stat. 647.