ALA partners with Communities for Immunity to boost vaccine confidence
For Immediate Release
Assistant Director, Communications
ALA Public Policy and Advocacy
Washington, D.C. -- The American Library Association (ALA) is partnering with Communities for Immunity, an unprecedented collaboration among libraries and museums to boost COVID-19 information and vaccine confidence in communities across the United States. Communities for Immunity provides funding to libraries, museums, science centers and other cultural institutions to enhance vaccine confidence where it matters most: at the local level.
Building on the many ways they have supported their communities during the pandemic, the partnership will activate libraries and museums to create and deliver evidence-driven materials and develop resources, programs, and approaches specifically designed to help these institutions engage diverse audiences in vaccine confidence.
“Access to information about vaccines and trusted messengers to effectively convey it locally is a matter of life and death. America’s 117,000 libraries provide both, serving communities at greatest risk of contracting the coronavirus and those most hesitant to receive the vaccine,” said Patty Wong, President of the American Library Association. “ALA is proud to join the Communities for Immunity initiative to offer resources and funding to supercharge the capacity of our nation’s second responders.”
Libraries and museums will leverage resources and research available on vaccines and variants disseminated by Institute of Museum and Library Services' (IMLS) research partnership with OCLC and Battelle, the Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project. Communities for Immunity will further build on existing resources and efforts, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Vaccines & US: Cultural Organizations for Community Health initiative, as well efforts from the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services and more.
Supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and IMLS, other Communities for Immunity collaborators include the Association of Science and Technology Centers, American Alliance of Museums and the Network of the National Library of Medicine. In addition to ALA, library organizations joining in the effort include the Association for Rural and Small Libraries; the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums; and the Urban Libraries Council. The national coalition of partners are creating a community of practice to develop and refine vaccine education resources that will be shared with the broader library and museum community.
“Throughout the pandemic, our nation’s museums and libraries have supported their communities with critical educational and social services,” said Laura Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. “As community pillars and trusted messengers, they are well-positioned to help build trust in and overcome hesitation to the COVID-19 vaccines.”
“Museums and libraries are defined by their commitment to serving their communities, and we are honored to support them in doing what they do best: engaging their communities in locally-resonant learning and action to tackle big challenges,” said Christofer Nelson, President and CEO of the Association of Science and Technology Centers.
The project launches at a critical moment as the United States is experiencing both a surge in COVID-19 cases related to dangerous new coronavirus variants and an urgent need to dramatically increase vaccination rates.