Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)

50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2795
(800) 545-2433 ext. 4294
Fax: 312-280-3256


The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) serves the Association by identifying and promoting library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in our libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations, including new and non-readers, people geographically isolated, people with disabilities, rural and urban poor people, and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources, and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to develop programs and service for new users.

OLOS provides resources to library and information workers who serve traditionally underrepresented groups. Our outreach areas include:

Visit our Outreach Columns blog for stories from our members!



Michelle Harrell Washington
Director, Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services
800-545-2433, ext. 5295
Responsible for oversight and administration of the Office's activities and budget; serves as staff liaison for OLOS Advisory Committee, the Office's liaising round tables, affiliates and related groups; guides the office as it provides active consultation, facilitation and training on library outreach issues.  
Kristin Lahurd
Literacy Officer
800-545-2433, ext. 3275

Manages OLOS adult literacy projects and partnerships; coordinates the development of literacy resources for libraries, facilitates literacy-related discussions across library types; and represents ALA on the National Coalition for Literacy.

John Amundsen
Program Officer, Outreach and Communications
800-545-2433, ext. 2140

Collaborates with OLOS member leaders in the development of outreach programming and resources in support of local library staff and stakeholders’ efforts to address information needs of traditionally underserved populations; Administers OLOS communication efforts including press release preparation, Web pages, ALA Connect communities, blogs, and social networking tools; develops resources and promotional materials; shares in OLOS liaison responsibilities; and assists in planning of special events.

Zina Clark
Program Coordinator, The American Dream Starts @ your library
800-545-2433, ext. 4297
Facilitates the day-to-day operations of the American Dream Starts @ your library Project, and provides customer service and regular communication to participating libraries. Compiles reports on the activities of the American Dream libraries, Coordinates the organization of presentations on the American Dream Project, securing program slots and assists with preparation of presentations on project outcomes.