Advocacy for Libraries

“What happens to one type of library affects all of us. Library communities around the country need to become a unified voice, ready to advocate for all libraries.”
- Jim Rettig, ALA past-president and University Librarian at the University of Richmond.

The newest office within ALA, the Office for Library Advocacy (OLA), supports the efforts of advocates seeking to improve libraries of all types by developing resources that include a peer-to-peer advocacy network and training for advocates at the local, state and national level. One of my goals,” says Camila Alire, ALA President, 2009-2010, “Is to provide another level of advocacy that articulates the not only the value of all types of libraries, but also the value of our quote about advocacy members working in those libraries to their respective communities.” In order to achieve this goal, OLA works on behalf of particular types of libraries or particular issues in order to help better integrate these efforts into the overall advocacy planning and strategies of the association. OLA also works to cultivate future leadership in order to sustain the advocacy efforts of the association.

Through advertising, PSAs, promotional events, and the @ your library campaign, ALA's ongoing public awareness and media relations program affirms that libraries are at the forefront of the information age; that libraries are places of opportunity, education, self-help and lifelong learning; and that libraries bring vital information resources and services to every community.  sen bill brady at ala 2007

Ensuring that libraries and library issues are presented to Congress means that ALA is very active in Washington, D.C. Member committees help form our Washington Office's legislative agenda while other committees look into policy implication of federal legislative or regulatory actions for libraries.  Ensuring that librarians deliver quality library services to the public impacts many issues.  The Washington office is a member resource to help build coalitions and promote the role libraries play in our democratic society. is ALA’s website for the public, designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries, found in public, school, academic, corporate and institutional settings.  


Learn more about what ALA does for library advocacy: vice-president al gore at ala midwinter 2010


Public Awareness and Media Relations
In Washington, D.C.

Office for Library Advocacy

Advocacy: How to Get Involved


Member Committees that focus on Advocacy - Get Involved

AASL Advocacy

ALSC Child Advocacy

ACRL Advocacy

ALTAFF Legislation, Advocacy & Intellecual Freedom Committee

YALSA Partnerships Advocating for Teens

GLBTRT External Relations

MAGERT Education Committee