ALA announces 2019 Policy Corps members

For Immediate Release
Wed, 01/23/2019


Shawnda Hines

Asst. Director, Communications

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410

The American Library Association (ALA) announced today the names of 10 library and information professionals selected to participate in the 2019 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.

  • Kate Alderete, Library Director, Taos Public Library, N.M.  
  • Sharon Edwards, Reference Librarian, Motlow State Community College, Tenn.
  • Lori Fisher, Library Director, Baker Free Library, N.H.  
  • Mandy Knapp, Digital Resources Manager, Ohio Public Library Information Network, Ohio  
  • Carla Myers, Coordinator of Scholarly Communication, Miami University, King Library, Ohio  
  • Mary Pellicano, School Librarian, Loudoun County Public Schools, Va.
  • Raymond Pun, Instruction and Research Librarian, Alder Graduate School of Education, Calif.
  • Nicole Robinson, Deputy Director, Houston Public Library, Tex.  
  • Sarah Vantrease, Division Manager, Public Services, Sonoma County Library, Calif.
  • Steven Yates, Assistant Director (Assistant Professor), University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Ala.  

“Having a diverse Corps of library experts with a multi-year commitment to policy advocacy strengthens our ability to advance equity and inclusion with national decision makers,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. 

“ALA celebrated significant legislative wins in 2018, but we also encountered serious threats to policies that ensure equitable access to information. The deeper and broader our policy engagement across the country and at all levels of government, the more quickly and successfully we can advance library priorities.”

The Corps’ goals include developing policy experts available to the library community and ALA, creating longevity in expertise and engagement in early to mid-career library and information professionals, and positively impacting national public policy priorities. 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.

The Corps is grounded in the National Policy Agenda for Libraries that emerged out of the Policy Revolution! initiative. Launched by ALA Past President Jim Neal in October 2017 as an extension of the Libraries Transform; Libraries Lead campaign, the Corps is designed to build on other ALA professional development programs.

More than 60 written applications were reviewed by the selection subgroup of the ALA Policy Corps working group. Finalists were asked to complete a two-minute, prerecorded video presentation about a sample policy issue. In addition to cultivating issue expertise, the cohort will receive training in other skills such as public speaking and media engagement to be effective advocates. Corps members will begin their training via virtual sessions and come together for the first time at a workshop in Washington, D.C. during National Library Week. 

More information is available at