Washington Office

ALA endorses strong, enforceable net neutrality rules that banned blocking, throttling, or degrading of any lawful internet content.

ALA works to maintain and increase current levels of federal funding for a wide range of vital library programs and services.

ALA works alongside bipartisan coalitions to uphold the Constitutional privacy rights and civil liberties of library users.

ALA follows both federal and state legislation and advocates Congress and in the courts to strike a balance in copyright law.

No-fee public access to government information is the foundation of an informed citizenry.

ALA believes that every school should have an effective school library program.

Mission

The American Library Association's Washington Office was established in 1945 to represent libraries on Capitol Hill. Read more about our nearly 75 years of history here.

ALA's advocacy and public policy staff work to secure information technology policies that support and encourage efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society. Staff work to ensure a library voice in information policy debates and to promote full and equitable intellectual participation by the public by:

  • Conducting research and analysis aimed at understanding the implications of information technology and information policy for libraries and library users,
  • Facilitating robust discussion within the ALA community about the implications of information policy, law, and regulation for libraries and library users,
  • Advancing ALA’s information policy interests in non-legislative government policy forums, and
  • Engaging in strategic forecasting to anticipate technological change, particularly as it presents policy challenges to libraries and library users.

The Washington Office is charged with following and influencing legislation, policy, and regulatory issues of importance to the library field and its public and works to ensure that libraries are consistently involved in the legislative and policy decision-making processes by:

  • Informing government of the needs and concerns of the library community;
  • Providing library supporters with up-to-date information on government actions or proposals;
  • Building coalitions with Washington-based representatives of other groups with similar concerns; and
  • Developing grassroots networks to lobby legislators and further library interests.

Staff

Gavin Baker

Gavin Baker, MSLIS
Assistant Director,
Government Relations
gbaker@alawash.org
Rosalind Bradley

Rosalind Bradley
Assistant Director,
Administration
rbradley@alawash.org
Larra Clark

Larra Clark, MSLIS
Deputy Director,
Public Policy/PLA
lclark@ala.org
Alisha Dixon

Alisha Dixon
Project Coordinator,
Washington Office
adixon@alawash.org
Shawnda Hines

Shawnda Hines
Assistant Director,
Communications
shines@alawash.org
Alan Inouye

Alan Inouye, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Public Policy
and Government Relations
ainouye@alawash.org
Kathi Kromer

Kathi Kromer, MA
Associate Executive Director,
Washington Office
kkromer@alawash.org
Kevin Maher

Kevin Maher
Deputy Director,
Government Relations
kmaher@alawash.org
Pat May

Pat May, MA
Director,
Administration
pmay@alawash.org
Daniel Snedden

Megan Ortegon
Manager,
Public Policy
mortegon@alawash.org
Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell, MSLIS
Director,
Public Policy
crussell@alawash.org
Marijke Visser

Marijke Visser, MSLIS
Associate Director and
Senior Policy Advocate
mvisser@alawash.org
Emily Wagner

Emily Wagner, MSLIS
Assistant Director,
Communications/Knowledge Mmgt
ewagner@alawash.org
 

Committees and Task Forces

The American Library Association carries out its work through a member-driven structure of committees and subcommittees, divisions, roundtables, and several other types of groups. Each committee has a specific purpose, defined at the time it is established. Explore the variety of advocacy and public policy committees below. You can also find resources and opportunity to volunteer on ALA's central committee page.

Public Policy Fellows and Advisory Council

The Fellows Program serves as a means to draw on nationally-recognized researchers, practitioners, and policy advocates in LIS or allied areas to strengthen the Washington Office’s involvement in national policy discussions. Fellows may have expertise in core LIS areas or in a wide range of other relevant areas that include telecommunications, intellectual property law, computer science, management and organizational behavior, political science, public policy and government, economics, and sociology, among others. Fellows work to increase the awareness and level of discourse on issues important to the LIS community by publishing issue papers and articles, and by participating in conference sessions, symposia, workshops, and interviews. Meet our current Fellows and Experts 

As part of the Policy Revolution! Initiative, ALA established a Public Policy Advisory Council to strengthen the engagement of the library community in national public policy. The Council is made up members from a broad range of non-library sectors, including technology, publishing, telecommunications, trade associations, government, foundations and other non-profits, health, financial services, and think tanks, reflecting the diverse range of policy areas of relevance to the library community. Meet the current members of the Public Policy Advisory Council.