For immediate release | November 11, 2019

ALA seeks applicants for national Policy Corps

Deadline set for December 11, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) invites library advocates to apply online to join the ALA Policy Corps before December 11. The Corps initiative aims to strengthen advocacy related to key national library policy areas—ranging from broadband equity and copyright/licensing to federal funding and privacy and cybersecurity.

“I hope early and midcareer library staff and advocates from every corner of the country will consider bringing their passion and expertise to this important initiative,” said ALA President Wanda Brown. “We need more and more diverse library voices involved with state and national policymaking to advance library values, programs and services on behalf of the communities we serve.”

The Corps’ goals include developing policy experts available to the library community, ALA and the Public Policy and Advocacy 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.

“I am proud to be part of this ongoing effort to expand our policy strength and reach,” said ALA Past President James Neal, who launched the Corps as part of his presidential initiative in 2017. “This will be our third cohort bringing together skilled advocates from libraries of all types.”

The ALA is seeking to recruit up to 12 participants with diverse representation from across library types and geographies. Participants will cultivate 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 third 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 and state chapters, such as service on boards, committees or other entities and/or participation in professional development or scholarship programs.

The application process for the 2020 ALA Policy Corps is now open. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, December 11, 2019. 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 Interested applicants can also talk directly with current Policy Corps members at one of three upcoming virtual forums:

11/20 at 11-12 pm PST / 1-2 pm CST

11/22 at 10-11 am PST/ 12-1 pm CST

12/3 at 12-1 pm PST / 2-3 pm CST


Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy