Civic Involvement, By the Numbers

Civic Involvement

November 1, 2019

These statistics are featured in American Libraries’ “Democracy in Action” special report (Nov./Dec. 2019). 53.9 million Number of citizens of voting age who reported not voting in the 2016 US presidential election. Source: US Census Bureau (2018) 15% Percentage of registered nonvoters who didn’t vote in 2016 because they were not interested or felt that … Continue reading Civic Involvement



Nebraska City (Neb.) Mayor Bryan Bequette (left) and his wife and daughter celebrate after solving a puzzle in the Morton-James Public Library’s escape room.

Nontraditional Approaches to Reaching Local Leaders

November 1, 2019

At Manitowoc (Wis.) Public Library (MPL), which hosts a free carnival every August, local representatives such as the mayor and aldermen hop into a dunk tank or serve as targets for the water-balloon catapult. Julia Lee, youth services manager at MPL, says getting local celebrities in the dunk tank helps break down barriers between residents … Continue reading Nontraditional Approaches to Reaching Local Leaders



Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Listening to Your Community

November 1, 2019

At the event, R. David Lankes, now director of University of South Carolina’s iSchool, facilitated discussions on the topic. Participants from all types of libraries were asked to take an imaginary walk around their community: observing, listening, seeking to understand the aspirations of the community for itself. During the discussion that followed, participants talked about how … Continue reading Listening to Your Community


From left: ALA Past President Loida Garcia-Febo; PLA Executive Director Barb Macikas; ALA Past President Sari Feldman; Alan S. Inouye, ALA senior director of public policy and government relations; and Tim Cherubini, executive director of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, outside the offices of Macmillan Publishers on October 30, 2019. Photo: Daniel Root

Library Advocates Deliver Ebook Petition to Macmillan

October 30, 2019

“I traveled from the nation’s capital to New York City, the publishing capital, to stand for the vast number of readers who will be impacted by this discriminatory embargo,” said Alan S. Inouye, the American Library Association’s (ALA) senior director of public policy and government relations. He was joined by past ALA Presidents Loida Garcia-Febo … Continue reading Library Advocates Deliver Ebook Petition to Macmillan


Advocacy Update

New ALA Report Cites Abusive Pricing, Denial and Delay of Sales to Libraries by Major Publishers

October 24, 2019

“By outright denying or delaying library access to digital content, dominant actors in digital markets endanger America’s competitiveness and our nation’s cultural heritage,” ALA President Wanda Brown said in an October 24 statement. “Everyone who reads, writes, performs, or sells creative works is harmed when libraries are unable to purchase and deliver content for all … Continue reading New ALA Report Cites Abusive Pricing, Denial and Delay of Sales to Libraries by Major Publishers


US Capitol

August Is for Advocacy

July 24, 2019

As you may have heard in the news, the Trump administration appears to be moving forward with a budget deal, after weeks of negotiations between congressional leaders and White House officials. The agreement currently includes increased or level funding for most domestic and defense programs. In May, the House included significant increases in their funding, … Continue reading August Is for Advocacy


Libraries = Strong Communities rally attendees.

Celebrating Libraries = Strong Communities

June 23, 2019

Libraries = Strong Communities sought to highlight the value of academic, public, and school libraries, and to create a groundswell of support at local, state, national, and global levels. Rally attendees wore blue T-shirts with the Libraries = Strong Communities slogan, and state chapter representatives lifted signs inscribed with their state names. “Over the past … Continue reading Celebrating Libraries = Strong Communities


Loida Garcia-Febo

Moving the Needle

June 3, 2019

During this time, I treasured the opportunity of being the first Puerto Rican American and second-youngest ALA president in the organization’s 143-year history. I have loved representing ALA nationally and internationally and collaborating with a talented Executive Board. Over the past year, ALA has helped secure funding for libraries to keep them open, equipped, and … Continue reading Moving the Needle


Loida Garcia-Febo

Supporting Our Agenda

May 1, 2019

Threats to libraries include budget cuts and legislation that would directly impact people from our communities, including women, children, first-generation college students, job seekers, new US residents, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and all the other people who visit our libraries every day. Our strategy needs to be twofold: library advocacy and community engagement. We … Continue reading Supporting Our Agenda


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic

Library Advocates Deliver

April 12, 2019

The annual campaign to gather support for the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program began with the congressional appropriations process in March, prime time for advocates to tell members of Congress about the important library programs supported by federal funding. With the Institute of Museum and Library … Continue reading Library Advocates Deliver