Holding Space, a national conversation series with libraries

The Stories of America’s Libraries, Virtually

July 27, 2020

Rather than a celebration on wheels, “Holding Space” will take place virtually. The intent remains the same: As American Library Association (ALA) president, I want to elevate the stories and successes of libraries whose work takes place just out of the spotlight. Libraries improve lives every day, and though their services and delivery models may … Continue reading The Stories of America’s Libraries, Virtually


Black Lives Matter

July 1, 2020

These events spurred singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye to record “What’s Going On” 50 years ago. As I assume leadership of ALA, we are confronting an unprecedented global pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen since 1918; an economic collapse, including the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression; unjust police killings of unarmed Black … Continue reading Black Lives Matter


ALA Virtual Opening Session Speaker Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation

June 24, 2020

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall reflected on her first four months as head of the Association, a period marked by the simultaneous struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global uprising against police brutality and racism. “Our resistance in these struggles requires our resilience,” Hall said. In 2026, ALA will turn 150, and Hall … Continue reading Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation



From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Libraries Adapt amid Crisis

May 1, 2020

COVID-19 and the novel corona­virus have upended our way of life and altered the way we as library professionals do our work. Of course, it has also impacted the American Library Association in profound ways. In March, the Executive Board made two difficult decisions: First, to recommend the closing of all libraries to all patrons. … Continue reading Libraries Adapt amid Crisis


Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Wong Wins 2021–2022 ALA Presidency

April 8, 2020

Wong received 6,718 votes, while her opponent, Steven Yates, assistant director of University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, received 2,448 votes. As ALA president, Wong will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library association in the world. She will serve as president-elect for one year before stepping into … Continue reading Wong Wins 2021–2022 ALA Presidency


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Don’t Be Counted Out

March 2, 2020

Quite simply, representation matters. If people aren’t counted in, they will most likely be counted out. That’s because the census informs everything from districting for federal, state, and local offices to the allocation of as much as $1.5 trillion in federal funding to states and localities. The census intersects with the work of libraries in several … Continue reading Don’t Be Counted Out


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Forward Together

January 2, 2020

But as we hear often, many members find the path to engagement too confusing, too insular, and too expensive. How do we address these concerns while also modernizing the way our Association functions? This is where we start. For the past 18 months, as a member of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE), I’ve … Continue reading Forward Together


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Welcoming New Americans

November 1, 2019

Libraries have a role to play too. From hosting programs with local legislators and teaching patrons media literacy to offering support for online census questions and assistance with government e-forms, today’s libraries are hot spots of civic engagement. Newcomers to this country, especially, see libraries as trustworthy guides on their path to integrating into their … Continue reading Welcoming New Americans


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Inclusive by Design

September 3, 2019

“When you can navigate a space, whatever that space may look like, and you don’t have to ask for help and you can do it independently, that’s confidence-building,” he says. When we think of some of the foremost goals of our profession—advocating for the value of libraries, librarians, and library workers as well as promoting … Continue reading Inclusive by Design


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Find Your Place within ALA

July 17, 2019

The American Library Association’s (ALA) strength in representing and advocating for librarians and library workers is likewise critical. However, the feedback we frequently receive is that getting involved in an association as complex as ours is daunting and that our Byzantine structure often leads to exclusion and confusion. Over the course of my presidential year, … Continue reading Find Your Place within ALA


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