Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Future Destinations

September 3, 2019

As in our personal lives, a new year is a time for reflection. We look back at the surprises, successes, and disappointments. We look at how we performed inside the Association—and, even more important, at our impact on libraries, on the people who make both the Association and libraries work, and on all the communities … Continue reading Future Destinations


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

At the Core of Our Work

June 3, 2019

In the most basic terms, an association is simply a voluntary organization of persons with common interests and ends, joining formally to achieve things they could not achieve—or could not achieve as well—alone. It’s an observation made in the early 1800s in Democracy in America by French historian Alexis de Tocqueville as he witnessed Americans … Continue reading At the Core of Our Work


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Challenge, Change, Opportunity

November 1, 2018

Over the coming months, our Association will be engaged in difficult but essential work. The task will require that we work together in good faith, trusting one another’s commitment to the important job of library workers and the power of libraries to transform individuals and communities of all types. The American Library Association (ALA) was … Continue reading Challenge, Change, Opportunity


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Modernizing Our Association

June 1, 2018

In the November/December issue of American Libraries, ALA President Jim Neal issued a call to ALA members to consider the 21st-century effectiveness and agility of an organization with governance documents dating back more than 140 years. He called for a review of ALA’s organizational effectiveness with the aim of revitalizing the Association. At the 2018 … Continue reading Modernizing Our Association


Keith Michael Fiels

My ALA Journey

June 1, 2017

Here’s an organization with: 57,000 members, representing an incredibly wide range of backgrounds, communities served, types of libraries, and interests a new president every year an Executive Board a 185-member Council 11 divisions (each with its own board) 20 round tables 56 state and regional chapters membership in 96 countries 1,266 online communities 1,272 discussion … Continue reading My ALA Journey



Keith Michael Fiels

In D.C., It’s All about Our Values

March 1, 2017

As an Association, we advocate for a wide range of federal legislation and policy issues, from intellectual freedom and privacy to access to government information to preservation to copyright. We also advocate for funding for library programs, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the E-Rate program, … Continue reading In D.C., It’s All about Our Values


Keith Michael Fiels

Advocacy School Is in Session

September 1, 2016

With a sustained national advocacy campaign our first priority, the Libraries Transform public awareness program launched last year. More than 3,000 libraries and supporters have already signed on to be part of the campaign. Last year we saw 144,001 page views of LibrariesTransform.org, 12,387 downloads of the library toolkit, 22,000 #LibrariesTransform mentions on Twitter, 65,000 … Continue reading Advocacy School Is in Session


Keith Michael Fiels

A United Effort

May 2, 2016

Thanks to the American Library Association’s new public awareness campaign Libraries Transform, it has never been easier to spread the word about the transformative and critical role libraries play in the digital age. Since the October 2015 launch, more than 1,600 libraries have registered to participate in the campaign, and that number is growing daily. … Continue reading A United Effort


Keith Michael Fiels

Every Student Succeeds

March 1, 2016

Examples of these changes include new provisions in the ESSA regarding local education agencies assisting schools in developing effective school library programs to provide students the opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and other ways to improve academic achievement. The bill also authorizes states and local educational agencies to use these federal funds to support … Continue reading Every Student Succeeds


Keith Michael Fiels

The New ALA Strategic Directions

October 30, 2015

It begins with our core values. These statements define our deepest aspirations and how we approach our work together. They are: extending and expanding library services in the US and around the world promoting all types of libraries—academic, public, school, and special supporting all librarians, library staff, trustees and other individuals and groups working to … Continue reading The New ALA Strategic Directions


Keith Michael Fiels

Support School Libraries!

September 4, 2015

In some communities, we see that testing pressures and budget decisions have led to the elimination of school libraries and school  ­librarians. In some districts, we see that school libraries are seen as a “frill”—nice to have but not essential to student learning. Yet school libraries and school librarians are among the most effective and efficient … Continue reading Support School Libraries!