Patty Wong

Challenging Times

March 26, 2022

“The freedom to read and the fight against book bans is something we’re all thinking about a lot these days,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Patricia “Patty” M. Wong in her opening remarks at the March 24 Big Ideas session. She reported that book challenges had more than doubled from 2020 to 2021. But … Continue reading Challenging Times


Legislative Update

Funding Closes Below Expectations for Libraries

March 24, 2022

Why was this disappointing for libraries? The final budget agreement between the administration and US House and Senate leadership unfortunately resulted in funding significantly below levels originally proposed by Congress. (See ALA’s FY2022 federal funding for libraries chart.) This was the case not only for many library programs but for most other domestic programs as … Continue reading Funding Closes Below Expectations for Libraries


Speaking Up

March 24, 2022

At the March 23 Opening Session of PLA 2022 in Portland, Oregon, PLA President and Richland (S.C.) Library Executive Director Melanie Huggins addressed a masked and gleeful crowd and acknowledged these “rough last two years.” “We have navigated challenges and risks in our personal and professional lives, but you made it a priority to be … Continue reading Speaking Up


2022 ALA Policy Corps

Meet the 2022 ALA Policy Corps

March 4, 2022

“ALA welcomes our fourth Policy Corps cohort of library professionals dedicated to advocacy,” said ALA President Patricia “Patty” M. Wong in a statement. “From continued lack of affordable access to digital content to the unprecedented volume of book challenges, the past year has shown the imperative for library advocates to protect our core values. Thanks … Continue reading Meet the 2022 ALA Policy Corps


Special Report: Toward an Equitable Digital Future

March 1, 2022

Even as lockdowns have eased and most schools and libraries have reopened, the availability of reliable broadband, devices, and digital literacy training remains critical—whether for schoolwork, employment, public services, telehealth visits, social connections, or civic participation. And this need will grow exponentially as technology infrastructure continues to evolve. Library workers have been working to address … Continue reading Special Report: Toward an Equitable Digital Future


The 411 on Funding

March 1, 2022

The pandemic threw the issue of unequal access to technology into sharp relief. Multiple funding bills have been proposed in the past few years—many with similar names—to alleviate this imbalance. However, staying on top of which bills have passed, what funding is available for libraries, and how librarians can get that funding can be a … Continue reading The 411 on Funding


Moving the Needle

March 1, 2022

1: Look around The first step is to take inventory of what digital programs, services, resources, and staffing already exist in your library and identify gaps and opportunities, says Larra Clark, deputy director of PLA and ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. “That’s the number one thing—where are you today? No matter who you are, … Continue reading Moving the Needle



Advocacy Update

What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act

December 28, 2021

Signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021, IIJA includes a historic investment in advancing digital equity and an opportunity for libraries to leverage and expand their roles in that work. The Digital Equity Act (DEA), a provision within IIJA, includes a federal investment of $2.75 billion over five years to promote … Continue reading What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act



United for Libraries 2021 Virtual Conference

Advocacy through Storytelling

August 23, 2021

Sessions underscored that stories—of individuals, of libraries, of communities—are at the core of library advocacy. “It’s really all about storytelling,” observed Beth Nawalinski, executive director of United for Libraries, during the conference. Representation in collections At “Auditing Diversity in Library Collections,” Sarah Voels, community engagement librarian at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library (CRPL), described the … Continue reading Advocacy through Storytelling


Young people sitting in an audience

Recruit, Retain, and Engage

July 8, 2021

Presenters included Lina Bertinelli, workforce librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Maryland State Library Resource Center in Baltimore; Madeline Jarvis, adult and information services manager at Marion (Iowa) Public Library; Kathy Kosinski, member services and outreach manager at Califa Group, a consortium of California libraries; and Tess Wilson, community engagement coordinator for the … Continue reading Recruit, Retain, and Engage