Public Information Office

Public Information Office

The ALA Public Information Office (PIO) develops and implements strategic communications plans tied to association goals and priorities in the areas of media relations and crisis communications, advocacy and public awareness. The PIO creates targeted initiatives that communicate ALA's position on key action areas: 21st century literacy, diversity, education and continuous learning, intellectual freedom and equity of access. The PIO also provides public relations counsel and media training and support to ALA member leaders and staff; coordinates national media relations efforts; maintains an advocacy network; and develops support materials to help librarians promote their programs and services at the local level. The PIO also is responsible for the implementation of @ your library®, The Campaign for America's Libraries, a multi-year public awareness and advocacy campaign that speaks loudly and clearly about the importance of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

@ your library®, The Campaign for America's Libraries


ALA launched @ your library®, The Campaign for America's Libraries, in 2001 to remind the public about the value of libraries, librarians and library workers in the 21st century. The campaign supports local libraries in their public relations and marketing efforts and includes media relations, advocacy and Web-based tools and resources to promote the campaign. The long-term goals include the following: increase awareness of public, school, academic, and special libraries; increase library usage; generate more funding and support for libraries; enhance recruitment to the profession; and ensure that libraries have a say in key public policy decisions. To subscribe to an electronic discussion list providing campaign updates and a forum for sharing ideas and best practices, send a message to Leave the subject line blank; in the body of the message, type: subscribe campaign <your first and last name>.

Library Advocacy Now! Network


The Library Advocacy Now! Network aims to build a national network of librarians, trustees, Friends and others ready, willing and able to speak out for libraries and the millions of Americans who depend on them. In addition to training programs at ALA national conferences, programs are offered at minimal cost to local and state library groups. To subscribe to the Library Advocacy Now! Electronic list, go to  Login at the bottom of the page by entering your e-mail address and password or click "Send me as password" if you've forgotten it or you are a first-time user. Then, click on "View all lists," followed by "ALADNOW" and then "Subscribe."

Media Relations

A strategic media relations program is designed to inform the public and decision-makers about the key issues libraries face in the 21st century; through it, millions of viewers, listeners, and readers learn about ALA's position on the critical issues of the day. PIO accomplishes this goal by booking hundreds of radio and TV appearances each year for ALA leadership and staff, as well as by placing articles in daily and weekly newspapers about issues and programs of concern to the library community. The PIO also responds to hundreds of inquiries each year from the news media and issues about 400 news releases to consumer and trade media on behalf of ALA and its member units. To receive ALA news releases online, send a message to Leave the subject line blank; in the body of the message, type: subscribe alanews <your first and last name>.

Public Awareness Initiatives

The PIO develops national campaigns to promote public awareness and support for libraries and librarians. The best known of these are National Library Week, Library Card Sign-up Month, Banned Books Week and Teen Read Week. Posters, bookmarks and other promotional materials help local librarians support these efforts. 

PR Talk

The PIO maintains an online discussion list to promote idea sharing about library promotion and provides news of ALA campaign activities. To subscribe, send a message to Leave the subject line blank; in the body, type: subscribe prtalk <your first and last name>.


The Public Information Office publishes a range of materials of interest to the library profession and the public. These include the ALA Annual Report, the "Library Advocate's Handbook," and a variety of toolkits, such as "Libraries & the Internet" and "Better Salaries & Pay Equity."

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PIO Office Contacts