ALA President announces 12-member cohort for newly launched ALA Policy Corps

For Immediate Release
Thu, 01/04/2018


Shawnda Hines

Press Officer

ALA Washington Office


American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Neal today announced the 12 library and information professionals selected to participate in the inaugural ALA Policy Corps, which aims to develop a cadre of experts with deep and sustained knowledge of national public policies in areas key to ALA’s strategic goals.

  • Hannah Buckland, Director of Library Services, Leech Lake Tribal College, Minn.
  • Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, National Information Standards Organization, Md.
  • Nicolle Davies, Executive Director, Charleston County Public Library, S.C.
  • Ann Ewbank, Associate Professor of School Library Media, Montana State University Department of Education, Mont.
  • Samantha Hines, Associate Dean of Instructional Resources, Peninsula College, Wash.
  • Qiana Johnson, Collection & Organizational Data Analysis Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries, Ill.
  • Candice Mack, Senior Librarian/Manager, Systemwide Teen Services, Los Angeles Public Library, Calif.
  • Jenna Nemec-Loise, Head Librarian, North Shore Country Day School, Ill.
  • Hallie Rich, Communications & External Relations Director, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio
  • Deborah Rinio, Secretary, Alaska Association of School Librarians, Ala.
  • Lisa Varga, Executive Director, Virginia Library Association, Va.
  • Lance Werner, Director, Kent District Library, Mich.

“The past year has brought sweeping changes and challenges to policies that ALA has advocated for, from net neutrality to federal library funding to privacy protections,” said Neal. “It is imperative that information professionals have a voice, not only in defending, but in shaping national policies that impact our patrons, our profession and our nation. This first cohort exemplifies diversity from across library types and geography, as well as a breadth of policy expertise and passion that represents our profession.”

The Corps is a signature initiative of Neal, who launched the program in October 2017 as an extension of the Libraries Transform; Libraries Lead campaign. The Corps is grounded in the National Policy Agenda for Libraries that emerged out of the Policy Revolution! initiative and is designed to build on other ALA professional development programs.

More than 60 written applications were reviewed by a subgroup of the ALA Policy Corps Working Group, which is providing direction for the new program. Finalists were asked to complete a two-minute, prerecorded video presentation about a sample policy issue. In addition to cultivating issue expertise, the cohort will receive training in other skills such as public speaking and media engagement to be effective advocates. Training will take place in webinars throughout the coming months as well as in a March workshop in Washington, D.C. and during ALA’s 2018 National Library Legislative Day on May 7-8.

American Library Association Policy Corps