Legislation, Advocacy & Intellectual Freedom Committee

Committee Charge

To work closely with the ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy, Washington Office, and Office of Intellectual Freedom to identify and encourage library advocate and United for Libraries member response to library legislation and issues of intellectual freedom. To promote national legislative action as needed on the United for Libraries listservs; to write appropriate articles and press releases for the United for Libraries newsletter and website; to advise the Annual Conference Program Committee on appropriate programs for legislation, intellectual freedom, and advocacy – especially those that are co-sponsorship opportunities with the Office for Library Advocacy, the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and other ALA Divisions and Units as appropriate.

Minimum Expectations

  • Write and/or solicit at least two articles on national issues that will or can impact libraries of all types at the local level for The Voice for America's Libraries.
  • Plan at least one program about citizens and national library issues for Annual Conference, preferably in partnership with another unit or division of ALA.

2017-2018 Committee Members

Deborah Doyle, Chair
Judith Baker
Scott Barber
Shirley Bruursema
Lucinda Clark
Cindy Friedemann
Scott Muir
Kate Park
Cynthia Potter
Joan Ress Reeves
Clyde Scoles
Mark Smith
Kathy Spindel
Fred Stielow


The Legislation, Advocacy & Intellectual Freedom Committee meets in person during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Prior to this meeting, the committee works remotely to being planning a program for the ALA Annual Conference. The topic of this program rotates annually between advocacy, intellectual freedom, and legislation.

Staff Liaison

Jillian Wentworth


Email: The email address to use for contacting committee members is united-natl-issues@lists.ala.org. Only committee members and staff liaisons can post messages to the electronic discussion group.

Conference Calls: At the request of the committee chair, one or more conference calls can be scheduled with the assistance of United for Libraries staff.

ALA Connect: Each committee has a virtual "space" in ALA Connect where committee members can post messages and share documents among committee members. This option should only be utilized if all committee members agree to using ALA Connect as their primary means of communication.


Program proposals for the ALA Annual Conference will be due to United for Libraries staff in October. This includes all programs, discussion groups, and ticketed events, excluding author programs, which are handled by United for Libraries staff. Program proposals must include title, first and second choice of date and time, requested AV, preferred room set, speaker names (if known), and a description of 75 words or less.

Updates to descriptions and speakers will be due in early February.

Final revisions will be due in April.

Newsletter articles are due approximately six weeks prior to the publication date of the newsletter.


The chair will complete a report for each meeting and submit to the staff liaison, to include a sign-in sheet.

Tools & Resources

Basics of Parliamentary Procedures (PDF, 11 kb)

How to Chair a Committee

For more information, please read "A Short History of United for Libraries" (PDF, 51 kb) by past-president Peggy Danhof.

Committee/Task Force Report Form (PDF, 32 kb)

Committee Meeting Attendance Form (PDF, 80 kb)