2019 Year in Review

2019 Year in Review

January 2, 2020

Macmillan Ebook Policy Draws Fire Macmillan Publishers announced a policy preventing libraries from purchasing more than one copy of a new ebook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. In protest, American Library Association (ALA) launched the #eBooksForAll petition, which by November 27 had garnered more than 216,000 signatures. Said ALA President … Continue reading 2019 Year in Review


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


Reflecting on Our Mission

January 2, 2020

Like other nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, ALA exists because we seek to accomplish a mission, initially defined in ALA’s Constitution, “to promote library service and librarianship.” That critical social purpose was later more expansively stated in ALA Policy Manual, ­section A.1.2: “The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and … Continue reading Reflecting on Our Mission


From the Treasurer: Maggie Farrell

Achieving Our Vision

January 2, 2020

I start my tenure by reporting mixed results for our finances, but I am optimistic about the work being done to advance libraries. In 2018, the ALA Executive Board approved a plan to strategically invest in three critical areas: information technology, advocacy, and development. Over a three-year period already underway, $8.8 million has been dedicated … Continue reading Achieving Our Vision


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Future Destinations

September 3, 2019

As in our personal lives, a new year is a time for reflection. We look back at the surprises, successes, and disappointments. We look at how we performed inside the Association—and, even more important, at our impact on libraries, on the people who make both the Association and libraries work, and on all the communities … Continue reading Future Destinations


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

At the Core of Our Work

June 3, 2019

In the most basic terms, an association is simply a voluntary organization of persons with common interests and ends, joining formally to achieve things they could not achieve—or could not achieve as well—alone. It’s an observation made in the early 1800s in Democracy in America by French historian Alexis de Tocqueville as he witnessed Americans … Continue reading At the Core of Our Work


From the Treasurer Susan H. Hildreth

A Year of Progress

January 2, 2019

While these successes are worth celebrating, there are still many challenges ahead as we focus on achieving our mission in a forward-looking, financially sustainable manner. The General Fund posted an operating deficit, albeit a much smaller one than in the past two years. Midwinter Meeting results missed expectations as our very talented and committed Conference … Continue reading A Year of Progress


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Challenge, Change, Opportunity

November 1, 2018

Over the coming months, our Association will be engaged in difficult but essential work. The task will require that we work together in good faith, trusting one another’s commitment to the important job of library workers and the power of libraries to transform individuals and communities of all types. The American Library Association (ALA) was … Continue reading Challenge, Change, Opportunity


ALA President Jim Neal

Value and Impact

June 1, 2018

Perhaps the most pressing arena has been federal funding for libraries and a wide range of legislative and legal battles in areas like intellectual freedom, privacy, net neutrality, copyright, and government information. We implemented the ALA Policy Corps: individuals who will develop deep and sustained knowledge of key policy sectors and will receive training in … Continue reading Value and Impact


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Modernizing Our Association

June 1, 2018

In the November/December issue of American Libraries, ALA President Jim Neal issued a call to ALA members to consider the 21st-century effectiveness and agility of an organization with governance documents dating back more than 140 years. He called for a review of ALA’s organizational effectiveness with the aim of revitalizing the Association. At the 2018 … Continue reading Modernizing Our Association