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




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


Los Angeles City Librarian John Szabo (front row, from left), Councilmember David Ryu, and ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo hold a giant check for nearly $4.8 million, symbolizing the efforts of the nearly 7,500 volunteers who contributed 164,000 hours of work in Los Angeles Public Library's 73 locations in 2018. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Celebrating LA Libraries

May 21, 2019

Garcia-Febo attended a dinner May 13 with members of Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. Flanked by Garcia-Febo and more than 40 LAPL volunteers, Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu offered a resolution declaring May 14 “Libraries = Strong Communities Day” and presented a volunteer … Continue reading Celebrating LA Libraries



ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo holds a proclamation from the city of North Miami, Florida, during a Libraries = Strong Communities rally at North Miami Public Library February 9. From left: Councilwoman Carol Keys, Councilman Alix Desulme, Garcia-Febo, and Library Director Lucia Gonzalez.

Libraries = Strong Communities Tour Heads to Florida

February 12, 2019

NMPL has experienced a dramatic transformation, recently finishing a renovation that included the addition of new public computers, interactive learning devices, and a multipurpose area for classes and workshops. Library Director Lucia M. Gonzalez opened the proceedings, telling the crowd, “Libraries bring communities together.” Members of the North Miami City Council presented a proclamation issued … Continue reading Libraries = Strong Communities Tour Heads to Florida


ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo at the Rally for Libraries, Seattle Public Library.

Libraries = Strong Communities Tour Reaches Seattle

January 26, 2019

An estimated crowd of 150 vociferous library supporters, many holding signs supporting public and school libraries, gathered about the podium as Garcia-Febo fired up the crowd with a stirring call to action on behalf of libraries of all types. Several audience members held up signs with the hashtag #spslibrarians in support of libraries in Seattle … Continue reading Libraries = Strong Communities Tour Reaches Seattle


ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo (center) and students at Cranston (R.I.) High School East pose in the school's library.

Setting 21st-Century Standards

October 26, 2018

Garcia-Febo used the opportunity to recognize the work of school libraries, especially highlighting the library at Cranston High School East for adopting the American Association of School Librarians’ National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. Librarian and Media Specialist Heidi Blais, who was named Cranston’s Teacher of the Year in 2014, … Continue reading Setting 21st-Century Standards


ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo (center) speaks at a rally at Cambridge (Mass.) Public Library. Photo: Mark Ostow Photography

A Call to Access

October 23, 2018

Garcia-Febo said one reason Cambridge was featured on her tour is the city’s commitment to providing everyone with equal access to information. She said Cambridge Public Library (CPL) has been especially vocal about providing assistance and resources to people who are under sanctuary city protection. She highlighted the importance of academic libraries by surveying the … Continue reading A Call to Access


American Library Association President Loida Garcia-Febo (at podium) addresses the crowd at the High Prairie Library Harvest Festival in Falcon, Colorado, as part of her Libraries = Strong Communities tour.

Libraries = Strong Communities Tour Launches in Colorado Springs

October 9, 2018

Libraries = Strong Communities is a national advocacy effort aimed at highlighting the value of academic, public, and school libraries. The goal is to ignite public awareness of the value of libraries and library workers and create a groundswell of support at the local, state, national, and even global level. Garcia-Febo says she chose PPLD … Continue reading Libraries = Strong Communities Tour Launches in Colorado Springs


From left: Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley, ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo, and John Spears

My Library, My Story

September 30, 2018

American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo hopes these prompts and others can be leveraged to create better advocates and visibility for libraries on the local, national, and international level. “This is a time for action. We’re living in challenging times,” she said. “We need a seat at the table.” At “My Library, My Story,” … Continue reading My Library, My Story