From left: Skip Dye, Corporate Committee on Library Investment and vice president of library marketing and digital sales, Penguin Random House; and the Iowa library delegation: Alison Ames Galstad, director, Coralville Public Library; State Librarian Michael Scott; Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa); Nancy Medema, library program director, State Library of Iowa; Michael Wright, director, Dubuque County Library District; Annah Hackett, campus engagement and instruction librarian, Grand View University; and Rebecca Funke, director of library resources, Des Moines Area Community College.

Library Supporters Gear Up for “Year-Round Advocacy”

May 11, 2018

In addition to the participants in Washington, D.C, hundreds of library supporters also registered to participate virtually by connecting with legislators via phone calls, emails, and social media this week. In opening remarks on May 7, ALA President Jim Neal introduced a recurrent theme throughout the livestreamed event: “The thing about advocacy is that it’s … Continue reading Library Supporters Gear Up for “Year-Round Advocacy”


Virginia General Assembly

Finding Advocacy Allies

May 4, 2018

In 2015, we—Virginia Beach City Public Schools Library Services Coordinator and Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) Executive Board Member Kelly Miller and Virginia Library Association (VLA) Executive Director Lisa R. Varga—met at a state social function. A few months later, the Virginia General Assembly introduced legislation threatening intellectual freedom. We decided to coordinate our … Continue reading Finding Advocacy Allies


ALA President Jim Neal

Hope, Power, Action

May 1, 2018

The current and prospectively annual battles over funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy have dominated our advocacy work. We have sustained and even expanded funding for IMLS in FY2018, but we are already pushing for support for FY2019 appropriations. At the same time, other important aspects … Continue reading Hope, Power, Action


ALA logo

Spending Bill Includes Big Increases for Libraries

March 23, 2018

“We are thrilled that Congress has passed an FY2018 omnibus spending bill today that includes significant federal funding increases for our nation’s libraries! “One year ago, the White House proposed eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and slashed millions of dollars in federal funding for libraries. Twelve months and tireless advocacy efforts … Continue reading Spending Bill Includes Big Increases for Libraries



no guns allowed

ALA and AASL Release Joint Statement on Florida Senate Bill 7026

March 8, 2018

“ALA and AASL support the efforts of Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) and Florida Library Association to provide safe and accessible learning spaces for students and learners of all ages,” stated Neal and Yates. “School librarians work with classroom teachers to provide instruction integral to the curriculum and offer additional informal learning opportunities for students. School … Continue reading ALA and AASL Release Joint Statement on Florida Senate Bill 7026


ALA Fund Libraries logo

Next Steps to Fund Libraries

March 7, 2018

The following excerpt originally appeared March 6 on District Dispatch, the blog of the American Library Association’s Washington Office. Read the full post at District Dispatch. The White House budget proposal for FY2019 recommends the elimination of most federal library funding. Though the budget proposal is concerning, Congress has the final say over the budget. Starting today, two … Continue reading Next Steps to Fund Libraries


ALA logo

ALA President Issues Statement on White House Budget

February 13, 2018

In response, American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Neal issued the following statement: “The administration’s FY2019 budget is out of touch with the real needs of Americans and the priorities of leaders in Congress who represent them. The president miscalculates the value of more than 120,000 libraries across America, just as he did in his … Continue reading ALA President Issues Statement on White House Budget


Community-centric Advocacy

February 9, 2018

Libraries transform lives. Libraries transform communities. Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning. Libraries are a smart investment. According to the research cited by the bootcamp’s leaders, humans need to hear something up to 10 times before the message really sinks in, so let’s see how many times I can pepper these messages into my … Continue reading Community-centric Advocacy


Meet the 2018 ALA Policy Corps

January 29, 2018

The Policy Corps team will meet at the Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver in February, attend a workshop about political activism and the legislative process in March, and attend ALA’s National Library Legislative Day in May. Meet the first members of Policy Corps, a dozen people with diverse backgrounds and experiences who are united … Continue reading Meet the 2018 ALA Policy Corps


ALA President Jim Neal

Tying Up the Lion

January 2, 2018

I suggest we begin by engaging with other library associations, including the Special Libraries Association, Urban Libraries Council, Society of American Archivists, Medical Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Association for Library and Information Science Education, American Association of Law Librarians, Association for Information Science and Technology, Chief Officers … Continue reading Tying Up the Lion


Idaho State Librarian Ann Joslin (left) first got to know Idaho State Representative Mike Moyle by sharing a children's book with him in the rotunda of the state capitol building. Moyle is now the Idaho House Majority Leader.

Advocating for Libraries

December 7, 2017

I have been Idaho’s state librarian since 2005 and held several positions in the state library agency for 26 years before that. The Idaho Commission for Libraries—the state’s library development agency—relies on a mixture of state and federal funding to execute its mission of assisting the more than 850 public, school, academic, and special libraries … Continue reading Advocating for Libraries