For immediate release | October 22, 2018

ALA seeks applicants for national Policy Corps

Deadline set for November 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) invites library advocates to apply online to join the ALA Policy Corps. The deadline for applications is November 16. The Corps initiative aims to strengthen advocacy related to key national library policy areas—ranging from broadband equity and copyright, to federal funding and STEM education, to privacy and cybersecurity.

“Expanding and deepening policy engagement at all levels of government is essential for advancing library priorities more quickly and successfully,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “We are stronger together as we establish national policy library advocates across the country.”

The Corps’ goals include developing policy experts available to the library community, ALA and the ALA Washington Office, creating longevity in expertise and engagement in early to mid-career library and information professionals, and positively impacting national public policy in areas key to ALA’s strategic goals. The ALA Washington Office has partnered with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Public Library Association (PLA) and United for Libraries (UNITED) to develop and support the program. A working group of ALA members and staff guide development of the program.

“I am proud to be a part of this ongoing effort to build library policy ‘muscle,’” said ALA Past President James Neal, who launched the Corps as part of his presidential initiative in 2017. “We had a strong first year, with skilled advocates from libraries of all types and from across the country that already have begun to share their expertise and influence policy related to federal funding and tribal broadband.”

The ALA is seeking to recruit up to 12 participants with diverse representation from across library types and geographies. Participants will cultivate their passion and deep expertise for a public policy issue; create or enhance the skill set needed to impact legislation and policy; mentor others on a given policy issue of interest; participate in a cohort to share challenges and successes; and ultimately impact national, state and local policymaking. Selected candidates will join the inaugural cohort in policy advocacy efforts on behalf of libraries.

The characteristics of successful applicants include:

  • ALA membership;
  • At least five years of library experience;
  • Past advocacy experience at the local, state, national and/or international level;
  • Desire to develop one’s policy advocacy skills and apply them over a period of years;
  • Solid speaking and writing skills;
  • Policy area expertise and ability to express impact of legislation and policy on libraries and various communities of users we serve
  • Commitment to keeping current on policy-related library issues and to building and supporting a strong, national network of advocates over time;
  • Ability to make and sustain a five-year commitment; and
  • Support from a library or educational institution.

Preference will be given to applicants with prior engagement in ALA such as service on boards, committees or other entities and/or participation in professional development or scholarship programs.

The application process for the 2019 ALA Policy Corps is now open. Applications will be accepted through Friday, November 16, 2018. Selected finalists will subsequently be asked to submit a two-minute recorded video presentation about a sample policy issue.

More information about the Corps, including current members and working group members, is available at


Emily Wagner

Assistant Director, Communications

American Library Association

Public Policy and Advocacy