Meet the 2020 ALA Policy Corps

April 28, 2020

“ALA is proud to welcome our third cohort of Policy Corps members,” said ALA President Wanda Kay Brown in a March 25 statement. “As the number of Policy Corps members grows, so does the power and strength of our overall network for library advocacy across all library types. As our libraries—and the nation—struggle to respond … Continue reading Meet the 2020 ALA Policy Corps


From left: Jillian Rael, Sharon Kay Edwards, and Patricia Rua-Bashir at the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 25.

Advocacy Assets

February 26, 2020

“[People] think advocacy is marble steps and these throne rooms. [For me,] it’s handshakes and sweet tea and conversations,” said Sharon Kay Edwards, legislative monitor for the Tennessee Library Association (TLA), librarian at Motlow State Community College, and an American Library Association (ALA) Policy Corps member. Edwards and her Tennessee colleagues presented the preconference “Developing … Continue reading Advocacy Assets


Illustration: Drew Bardana

Special Report: Democracy in Action

November 1, 2019

And libraries are especially well suited to be “democracy coaches,” in the words of Amanda Smithfield, a librarian at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee. Open to everyone regardless of political leanings, they serve as voter registration hubs and polling places and provide meeting space for community groups and forums. Our special report … Continue reading Special Report: Democracy in Action



Meet the 2019 ALA Policy Corps

February 5, 2019

Policy Corps members will attend two training sessions in Washington, D.C. The first is a spring meeting, which will provide a survey of key library advocacy issues, major players in the legislative and policy processes, and the processes of engaging national decision makers and influencers. A second workshop will take place in the fall. Regular … Continue reading Meet the 2019 ALA Policy Corps


Everyday Advocacy

June 24, 2018

“We were able to get the Tea Party to support our millage increase. That’s probably the first and last time that would happen in Kent County,” he joked to attendees at the United for Libraries President’s Program, “Engaging Elected Officials with Your Library,” at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans … Continue reading Everyday Advocacy


Dewey Decibel Podcast: Becoming a Library Advocate

June 8, 2018

In Episode 26, American Libraries Associate Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with four Policy Corps members—Lisa Varga, executive director of the Virginia Library Association; Qiana Johnson, collection and organizational data analysis librarian at Northwestern University Libraries in Evanston, Illinois; Larry Neal, director of Clinton–Macomb (Mich.) Public Library, who is the ALA Policy … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Becoming a Library Advocate


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