From left: Moderator Liana Heitin Loewus; Elizabeth Rush, library specialist at Northside Independent School District in Leon Valley, Texas; Nawaid Ladak, legislative assistant to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.); and Dallas Director of Libraries Jo Giudice.

Texas Librarians Help Capitol Hill Slide into Learning

June 7, 2019

PPA organized the discussion to educate congressional staff about libraries’ role in developing literacy, especially during the summer months, and to encourage members of Congress to look to libraries as leading partners in education. PPA staff worked with the American Association of School Librarians and the Texas Library Association (TLA) to identify librarians in the … Continue reading Texas Librarians Help Capitol Hill Slide into Learning


Legislative Update

New Task Force for Federal Funding for Libraries

February 14, 2019

In fall 2018, ALA’s Washington Office engaged in a policy strategy retreat looking forward to the 116th Congress and the 2020 elections. Discussions addressed federal funding, improved broadband access, copyright, and other topics. The ALA Committee on Legislation (COL) then invited representatives from the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to explore possibilities of … Continue reading New Task Force for Federal Funding for Libraries


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


Screenshot of the Differentiation Detector, a net neutrality app created by David Choffnes and researchers at Northeastern University.

Net Neutrality Updates

February 4, 2019

The American Library Association (ALA), which filed an amicus brief in 2018 with other groups seeking to defend net neutrality in Mozilla, asserts net neutrality is essential for a library to meet its public mission of increasing access to information. In 2015, the FCC adopted strong net neutrality policies to require all internet traffic to be … Continue reading Net Neutrality Updates


Tom Brooks, Cobb County (Ga.) Public Library System. Screenshot from Advocacy Storytelling 101 video

ALA Launches Advocacy Resources

January 25, 2019

ALA’s advocacy web pages are organized around developing and cultivating library advocates; providing step-by-step suggestions for anyone who wants to become more active in strengthening ALA’s voice; and advancing the national, state, and local conversations about library and information policy. The concrete examples of storytelling, relationship building, and year-round advocacy are designed to encourage ALA … Continue reading ALA Launches Advocacy Resources


2020 Census (Image: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries)

Census Resources for Libraries

January 15, 2019

Libraries across the country will offer information about the Census and provide technology access to residents completing it online for the first time. Some questions to consider: Will your library need additional computers for residents to complete their Census questionnaire online? Will you work with other community stakeholders to present meetings or programming to inform … Continue reading Census Resources for Libraries


net neutrality

The State of Net Neutrality

January 2, 2019

More than 35 states have introduced legislation to protect net neutrality, although only four (California, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) have passed laws. Several governors have also issued executive orders related to net neutrality. The details of state net neutrality actions vary significantly, but common provisions are: prohibiting all internet service providers (ISPs) in a state … Continue reading The State of Net Neutrality


Vote tally in House on S. 3530, Museum and Library Services Act, December 19

Museum and Library Services Act Passes

December 20, 2018

Thanks to the persistence of American Library Association (ALA) members and bipartisan support of congressional leaders who introduced the legislation, Congress is currently on record as saying that America’s libraries are a national priority. ALA thanks Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Jack Reed … Continue reading Museum and Library Services Act Passes


Congress

Museum and Library Services Act Stalls in House

December 14, 2018

In closed-door meetings in November, the House and Senate negotiated a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to move MLSA (S. 3530) forward. The Senate, with the assent of the library community, accepted changes requested by the House Republican majority prior to the bill passing the Senate on December 4 by unanimous consent. In return, the House committed … Continue reading Museum and Library Services Act Stalls in House


ebook

E-Content Challenges Ahead

December 14, 2018

As ALA’s senior director of public policy and government relations, I joined ALA president Loida Garcia-Febo and Sari Feldman, senior policy fellow and past president of ALA and executive director of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, for separate meetings with Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, the Book … Continue reading E-Content Challenges Ahead


Congress

Lame-Duck Library Advocacy

December 6, 2018

Passage of the MLSA would reauthorize the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), reinforcing the agency—and America’s libraries—as a priority for the federal government. The proposed MLSA mirrors the previous authorization, which expired in 2016. The new legislation authorizes IMLS through 2025 and contains improvements to enable more libraries on tribal lands to participate … Continue reading Lame-Duck Library Advocacy


A public library is located within five miles of 99% of hard-to-count census tracts identified with the lowest response rates in 2010—and 73% of the time a library is located within one mile.

Libraries and the 2020 Census

October 30, 2018

On October 25 at the Chicago Public Library, ALA—alongside partners Forefront, Voices for Illinois Children, and the US Census Bureau—explored how to create the most inclusive count possible. This meeting was part of a Census Solutions Workshop, one of many being hosted around the country. The room was packed with nearly 80 participants, including roughly … Continue reading Libraries and the 2020 Census