State and Local Resources

Closeup of Compass found on many pages of the ALA Chapter Relations Office  State Chapters Toolkit / Libraries Transform  Advocacy Resources for Chapters  Chapter Advocacy Exchange Webinar Series  Find Your Answers to Questions about Chapters

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”―Walter Cronkite

| State and Local Advocacy | Advocacy Support for Libraries | Contact ALA Chapter Relations Office Staff | See also Get Involved |

State and Local Advocacy

The ALA Chapter Relations Office (CRO) supports ALA’s advocacy efforts by tracking federal, state, and local legislation and other issues affecting libraries, and by working with the Office for Library Advocacy, the Public Awareness Office, the ALA Washington Office, I Love Libraries, other ALA units, and other groups. CRO provides advocacy assistance to ALA Chapters by several means, including helping them develop and maintain their own advocacy websites, which allow their members to contact state and federal legislators.

In addition, the American Library Association (ALA) has adopted a protocol to respond to library crises at the state and local level. The goal of ALA's involvement is to advance the advocacy efforts of the library and/or the appropriate state-level library organization. ALA can only become involved when its efforts are welcomed by and coordinated with the library and/or the state-level library organization. See ALA Protocol for Monitoring and Responding to State and Local Library Crises (PDF).

See also the Advocacy Implementation Plan, which is a result of ALA and its members working with libraries, the broader library community, and members of the public to advocate for the value of libraries and for public support for libraries of all types at the local, state, federal and international level.

See also the ALA Strategic Directions, which includes the ALA Mission; Core Organizational Values; Key Action Areas; and Strategic Directions: Advocacy, Information Policy, Professional and Leadership Development, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Advocacy Support for Libraries

Advocacy Bootcamp
Advocacy Bootcamp urges attendees to re-think advocacy: to re-define the library community and expand the way we have been advocating for libraries. Typically held as a pre-conference at state and regional conferences, Advocacy Bootcamp will help library communities prepare to advocate for libraries as fundamental building blocks to democracy.

Advocacy Resources for Chapters
CRO supports ALA's and Chapter's library advocacy efforts by working with other ALA units and other groups.

Advocacy University
Advocacy University is a comprehensive clearinghouse of advocacy tools and resources for all types of libraries from the American Library Association.

ALA and Chapters Partnership
The ALA and Chapters Partnership explains how the ALA and ALA Chapters partnership works, including their advocacy efforts.

ALA Strategic Directions
ALA Mission; Core Organizational Values; Key Action Areas; and Strategic Directions: Advocacy, Information Policy, Professional and Leadership Development, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Chapter Advocacy Exchange
Free webinars presented by the ALA Chapter Relations Office and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, primarily designed to assist Chapters.

Chapter Issues
Chapters share with each other how they address common issues.

Engage, advocacy software ALA provides to Chapters
Each ALA Chapter has a website that includes how to advocate and take action for libraries.

Find Your Answers
Of the numerous pages to access information about the ALA and Chapters partnership and resources, and answers related to Chapters, this is the page to bookmark and refer to first.

Fund Libraries
Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to protect library funding. Let them know how important these centers of literacy, access, lifelong education and learning are to your community.

Get Involved
Visit this page to get involved in Chapters (aka state library associations) in a professional capacity (e.g., librarian, library worker, or library student), as the press, or as the general public.

Helping United States Libraries After Disasters
Let us know how ALA can help libraries affected by natural disasters in any way toward recovery by contacting the ALA Chapter Relations Office.

ILoveLibraries
Ilovelibraries.org is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries. Ilovelibraries.org promotes the value of libraries and librarians, explains key issues affecting libraries, and urges readers to support and take action for their libraries.

Libraries Transform
Designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals, the Libraries Transform campaign will ensure there is one clear, energetic voice for our profession. Showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age. See also the Libraries Transform Toolkit, specifically the State Chapters Toolkit, free Libraries Transform public awareness tools specifically for ALA state chapters in order to facilitate library advocates’ vital work at the state level.

Media Concentration
"With growing concentration of media ownership, independent voices decrease and locally produced and locally relevant information, news, and cultural resources diminish. Libraries cannot ensure “the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources,” unless they counter the detrimental impact of media consolidation on the diversity of ideas and localism in their communities. When media consolidation restricts the creation and dissemination of multiple perspectives, the public no longer has a healthy, open exchange of information and ideas. In an era when democratic discourse is more essential than ever, the information system is out of balance. Libraries must provide forums—both physical and virtual—that create opportunities for individuals to engage in the open and balanced exchange of viewpoints and ideas."—Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions (PDF).

Save Libraries in Your State
Links to websites, blogs, pages on Facebook, etc., dedicated to advocating for libraries or saving libraries in a state, and more.

State Chapters Toolkit
Free Libraries Transform public awareness tools specifically for ALA state chapters in order to facilitate library advocates’ vital work at the state level. (See Libraries Transform above.)

Take Action for Libraries
Links to where you can take action for the libraries in your state, as well as to take action on federal legislation affecting libraries, and more.

Contact ALA Chapter Relations Office Staff

Michael Dowling, Director
Chapter Relations Office
mdowling@ala.org, 1-800-545-2433, ext. 3200

Don Wood, Program Officer
Chapter Relations Office
dwood@ala.org, 1-800-545-2433, ext. 2429