Public Policy and Advocacy

Promoting access to electronic resources for an open information society

Mission

The American Library Association's Public Policy and Advocacy office was established in 1945 to represent libraries on Capitol Hill. Read more about our nearly 75 years of history here.

ALA's advocacy and public policy staff work to secure information technology policies that support and encourage efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society. Staff work to ensure a library voice in information policy debates and to promote full and equitable intellectual participation by the public by:

  • Conducting research and analysis aimed at understanding the implications of information technology and information policy for libraries and library users,
  • Facilitating robust discussion within the ALA community about the implications of information policy, law, and regulation for libraries and library users,
  • Advancing ALA’s information policy interests in non-legislative government policy forums, and
  • Engaging in strategic forecasting to anticipate technological change, particularly as it presents policy challenges to libraries and library users.

The Public Policy and Advocacy team is charged with following and influencing legislation, policy, and regulatory issues of importance to the library field and its public and works to ensure that libraries are consistently involved in the legislative and policy decision-making processes by:

  • Informing government of the needs and concerns of the library community;
  • Providing library supporters with up-to-date information on government actions or proposals;
  • Building coalitions with Washington-based representatives of other groups with similar concerns; and
  • Developing grassroots networks to lobby legislators and further library interests.

Featured

ALA follows both federal and state legislation and advocates Congress and in the courts to strike a balance in copyright law.

No-fee public access to government information is the foundation of an informed citizenry.

ALA works to maintain and increase current levels of federal funding for a wide range of vital library programs and services.

ALA endorses strong, enforceable net neutrality rules that banned blocking, throttling, or degrading of any lawful internet content.

ALA works alongside bipartisan coalitions to uphold the Constitutional privacy rights and civil liberties of library users.

ALA believes that every school should have an effective school library program.

Committees and Task Forces

The American Library Association carries out its work through a member-driven structure of committees and subcommittees, divisions, roundtables, and several other types of groups. Each committee has a specific purpose, defined at the time it is established. Explore the variety of advocacy and public policy committees below. You can also find resources and opportunity to volunteer on ALA's central committee page.

Public Policy Fellows and Advisory Council

The Fellows Program serves as a means to draw on nationally-recognized researchers, practitioners, and policy advocates in LIS or allied areas to strengthen ALA’s involvement in national policy discussions. Fellows may have expertise in core LIS areas or in a wide range of other relevant areas that include telecommunications, intellectual property law, computer science, management and organizational behavior, political science, public policy and government, economics, and sociology, among others. Fellows work to increase the awareness and level of discourse on issues important to the LIS community by publishing issue papers and articles, and by participating in conference sessions, symposia, workshops, and interviews. Meet our current Fellows and Experts

Staff

ALA

Amelia Aldred

Deputy Director, State and Local Advocacy
Gavin

Gavin Baker, MSLIS

Deputy Director, Public Policy and Government Relations
gbaker@alawash.org

Alan

Alan Inouye, Ph.D.

Interim Associate Executive Director, Public Policy and Advocacy

ainouye@alawash.org

Ros

Rosalind Bradley

Director, Administration
rbradley@alawash.org

Kevin

Kevin Maher

Deputy Director, Government Relations
kmaher@alawash.org

ALA

Jazzy Celindro

Public Policy Associate
jcelindro@ala.org

Kirk

Kirk Peterson

Administrative Assistant, Administration
kpeterson@alawash.org

Larra

Larra Clark, MSLIS

Deputy Director, Public Policy/PLA
lclark@ala.org

Kris

Kris Stewart

Grassroots Communications Manager
cstewart@alawash.org

ALA

Marleen Coleman

Project Coordinator
mcoleman@alawash.org

ALA

Jim Takeshita

Public Policy Associate
jtakeshita@alawash.org

ALA

Emily Durkin

Public Policy Manager
edurkin@alawash.org

Katherine

Katherine Varela

Information Manager, Public Policy and Advocacy
kdean@alawash.org

Shawnda

Shawnda Hines

Deputy Director, Communications
shines@alawash.org

Ian

Ian Ware

Manager, Communications
iware@alawash.org

ALA

Megan Janicki

Deputy Director, Public Policy & Advocacy
mjanicki@alawash.org