Advocacy & Issues

From privacy education to effective school library programs across the country, ALA advocates have been at the heart of our nation’s greatest advances for libraries.

Advocacy is central to everything ALA does. From intellectual freedom to copyright, from digital equity to school library policies, ALA works hard to engage leaders across the country at every level on issues that matter to the library community. Learn more about our advocacy priorities and the different ALA offices that help carry out this work, including the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Public Policy & Advocacy Office in Washington.

Our Advocacy Priorities

Intellectual Freedom abstract illustration

Intellectual freedom--the right to read, seek information, and speak freely-- is a core value of the library profession, and a basic right in our democratic society. A publicly supported library provides free, equitable, and confidential access to information for all people of its community.

The staff of the Office for Intellectual Freedom is available to answer questions or provide assistance to librarians, trustees, educators and the public about intellectual freedom issues and resources. Inquiries can be directed via email to or via phone at (312) 280-4226.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion abstract image

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are fundamental values of the association and its members, and diversity is listed as one of ALA's Key Action Areas. The Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services uses a social justice framework to ensure the inclusion of diverse perspectives within our profession and association to best position ALA as a trusted, leading advocate for equitable access to library services for all.

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Literacy illustration of flying books

The American Library Association supports the principle that lifelong literacy is a basic right for all individuals in our society and is essential to the welfare of the nation.

ALA confirms that libraries of all types, as appropriate to their mission, have the responsibility to make literacy a high priority in planning and budgeting for library services.

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Privacy abstract illustration

The right to privacy – the right to read, consider, and develop ideas and beliefs free from observation or unwanted surveillance by the government or others – is the bedrock foundation for intellectual freedom. Privacy is essential to free inquiry in the library because it enables library users to select, access, and consider information and ideas without fear of embarrassment, judgment, punishment, or ostracism. A lack of privacy in what one reads and views in the library can have a significant chilling effect upon library users’ willingness to exercise their First Amendment right to read, thereby impairing free access to ideas. True liberty of choice in the library requires both a varied selection of materials and the assurance that one's choices are not monitored.

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Banned Books Resources

Top Ten most challenged books, censorship data, and many advocacy resources to help fight book censorship.

With the unprecedented surge in local and statewide book challenges, ALA offers this clearinghouse of resources to assist library workers and advocates in responding to and supporting others facing those challenges.

Public Policy and Advocacy Office (PPA)

Advocacy in Washington illustration

The American Library Association advances key policy priorities by lobbying Congress, partnering with coalitions, and helping our library supporters in the field build strong relationships with their elected officials. ALA's Public Policy and Advocacy team serves as the voice for libraries in Washington, D.C. Through strengthening connections with members of Congress, grassroots mobilization, and regulatory advocacy, ALA aims to drive federal policy on the issues that impact libraries.

Learn More about ALA's Office of Public Policy and Advocacy

ALA's Public Policy and Advocacy Work In Washington

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.

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

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

Advocacy News from ALA

An updated toolkit for winning grants

CHICAGO — Newly updated and comprehensive, the third edition of “ Winning Grants,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, is a must-have for library directors, grant writers...

Become a Library Advocate

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Join ALA's grassroots network to positively impact libraries! Sign up for the latest alerts and updates, learn more about advocating for libraries through traditional and social media, find resources for working with local government, and make your voice heard.

Facing threats to funding, position reduction, adverse state or local legislation? Looking for strategy assistance, training, or want to launch an advocacy campaign? Contact us directly at

Become a Library Advocate

Advocacy Workshops, Webinars, and Events


Learn how your library can use the 2023 Public Library Technology Survey report and PLA’s data tools to understand and


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