Office of Government Relations

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About Libraries

 Key Issues

OGR Staff

The American Library Association (ALA) is the nation’s oldest and -- at over 58,000 members -- the largest organization of library professionals in the nation. Since 1945, the professionals of ALA’s Washington-based Office of Government Relations (OGR) have striven to ensure that libraries are consistently, actively and constructively involved in all relevant federal legislative and policy decision-making processes of importance to the library field and in the public interest.

Key Issues

About Libraries

Used by an estimated 200 million Americans more than 1.5 billion times annually for reasons as diverse as our nation, libraries of every kind are trusted more than any other public institution. Wherever they may be, libraries consistently are at the cores of their communities. In the digital age more than ever before, 21st-century libraries are engines of societal and personal change and progress. By fostering education, literacy, research, government benefits distribution, business incubation, job training, civic involvement and much, much more libraries transform learning, local economies and the lives of millions every day.

OGR Mission

As part of the ALA Washington Office, the Office of Government Relations (OGR) is charged with following and influencing legislation, policy and regulatory issues of importance to the library field and its public.

OGR Responsibilities

In coordination with its sister office, the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), OGR works to ensure that libraries are consistently involved in the legislative and policy decision-making processes by:  

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

At the direction of the ALA Committee on Legislation, the Office of Government Relations covers a broad range of issues including, but not limited to: appropriations, copyright, library programs, government information, privacy, and telecommunications.

Advocacy and Policy Resources

Staff Biographies

Staff Contacts

Kathi Kromer - Associate Executive Director, Washington Office

Kevin Maher - Deputy Director
Issues: Appropriations, Telecommunications

Gavin Baker, Assistant Director
Issues: Government Information, Open Access

Lisa Lindle - Grassroots Communications Specialist

Emily Wagner - Information Manager

American Library Association
Washington Office
1615 New Hampshire Ave NW, 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20009-2520
Phone: 202-628-8410
Fax: 202-628-8419        

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