Candice Mack selected to participate in the inaugural ALA Policy Corps

Picture of Candice Mack with a robot

ALA President Jim Neal has announced that Candice Mack, 2005-2006 Spectrum Scholar, is one of 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.

“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.”

Candice Mack is the manager of systemwide Young Adult Services at the Los Angeles Public Library, where she helps coordinate teen programs and collections at the third largest library system in the United States. She was the president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in 2015-2016 and served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee (the fifth chair since the committee's inception and the first chair of Asian American descent) in 2010-2011. She has reviewed graphic novels and young adult literature for the American Library Association's Booklist journal since 2011. More recently, Candice has worked with San Diego Comic-Con and San Diego Public Library to help moderate, present at, and organize panels for the Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians. She is one of six comic experts on the judging panel for the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

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. We asked Candice to tell us a little bit more about the experiences she highlighted to join the Corps. Candice received media training as part of her selection as a Asian American Journalists Association Media Institute Fellow in 2014. She participated in National Library Legislative Day in 2015 and advocated on behalf of libraries' role in the maker/STEAM movement at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire in 2015.

She shared her experience supporting the LAPL’s Library Guild's Save the Library campaign, for which she created the social media presence back in 2009/2010 as well as speaking at countless City Council meetings, gathering signatures, postcards and doing storytime on the then Mayor's lawn (which now has a fence around it). She also talked about the role advocacy plays in her library's new teen civic engagement initiative - Teens Leading Change, where library teen council members are given mini grants of $100-$5,000 to collaborate with local partners on community improvement projects in the areas of: Library Advocacy/Information Literacy, Cultural & Community Conversations /Archives, Know Your Rights/Immigration & Citizenship, Net Neutrality/Privacy, Voter Registration/Voting Rights.

You can watch Candice’s advocacy in action by viewing her 2015 TEDxLAPL Talk: Libraries Invite All, They Constrain None. Join us in congratulating Candice!

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American Library Association Policy Corps