ALA seeks applicants for national Policy Corps

For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/26/2021


Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy

American Library Association

Deadline set for Dec. 1, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) invites library advocates to apply online to join the fourth cohort of ALA Policy Corps members. The deadline for applications is Dec. 1, 2021. 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.

“Advocates with front-line library experience and a passion for advancing library policy goals are vital to increasing ALA’s reach and influence,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “They bring the firsthand stories of what libraries do for their communities that are necessary to reach decision-makers.”

The Corps’ goals include developing and expanding policy expertise 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.

“It’s an honor to be part of this effort to grow our policy advocacy strength across all library types and across the country,” said Jim Neal, co-chair of the Policy Corps Advisory Group. “I’m looking forward to welcoming the fourth cohort to the team.”

The ALA is seeking to recruit up to 12 participants with diverse representation from across library types and geographies. Participants will deepen policy advocacy expertise and networks; 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.

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 2021 ALA Policy Corps is now open. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021: 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