ALA study will explore public library services for new Americans

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/05/2018


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office


CHICAGO — More than 55 percent of new Americans use their public library at least once a week, seeking English language learning, valuable resources and a vital support network, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

A new study from the American Library Association (ALA) will explore how public libraries are meeting new Americans’ needs and how the library field can expand and improve upon those programs and services.

The New Americans Library Project will convene a team of public librarians and partner organizations experienced in providing services to new Americans, such as literacy and civic engagement programming.

Over the six-month project, ALA will explore existing library service models, opportunities and challenges, and recommend a national service agenda for public libraries. Through research, personal interviews and site visits to public libraries, the advisors will identify current gaps in service, conceive of professional development opportunities for library professionals, and start a national conversation in the profession about the future of library services for new Americans.

The result will be an implementation plan for national distribution of best practices, to be informed and adapted by local libraries to best respond to community conditions and context.

The New Americans Library Project advisors include:

  • Adriana Blancarte-Hayward, New York Public Library, New York
  • Krista Conrick, Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Hamilton, and Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Glens Falls, New York
  • Tom Cytron-Hysom, Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium, Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Nathaniel Eddy, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia
  • Erica Freudenberger, Southern Adirondack Library System, Saratoga Springs, New York
  • Lucia Gonzalez, North Miami Public Library, North Miami, Florida
  • Karen Green, El Buen Samaritano, Austin, Texas
  • Madeleine Ildefonso, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles
  • Symbol Lai, Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs, Philadelphia
  • Diana Miranda-Murillo, Austin Public Library, Austin, Texas
  • Martin Okpareke, Jewish Vocational Services, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Jonathan Fein Proaño, International Rescue Committee, Los Angeles
  • Julie Robinson, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Rebecca Ryan, Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Touger Vang, Catawba County Library System, Troy, North Carolina
  • Nadege Vilsaint, Prosperity Social and Community Development Group, North Miami, Florida

The project will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office and funded by a grant from The JPB Foundation.  To learn more about the New Americans Library Project, please visit