For immediate release | April 27, 2023

IRRT Preconference: Global Libraries as Advocates for Information Policy Change

CHICAGO - The American Library Association's (ALA) International Relations Round Table (IRRT) invites you to attend a half-day preconference, “Global Libraries as Advocates for Information Policy Change” on Friday, June 23, 2023, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., during the 2023 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

The pandemic has raised our awareness and understanding of the need for information policies that support the ability of libraries to serve their communities. What are the persistent and new policy issues that libraries around the world must focus on? How can we strengthen our ability to influence legislative and legal change, and participate in the political process on the local, national, and global levels?

The range of policy issues of relevance to libraries is extraordinary: intellectual freedom and the rising challenges to the books and other resources we make available in our collections; privacy and the threats that we and our users face on protecting their identities; civil liberties and the constraints on freedom of action and speech; open access to research and educational resources, funding for libraries, and for education and research programs; copyright and the importance of fair use and the exceptions that enable libraries to carry out their services; the expansion and quality of access to the internet and the challenges of the digital divides in our communities; telecommunications policy and the growth of social media monopolies and issues like net neutrality; government information and the importance of guaranteeing that records of the work of our governments are openly and readily accessible; the survival of school libraries which are so essential to our library ecosystem; along with many more specific to local, national and global contexts.

Welcome Remarks: Jim Neal, IRRT Past Chair, University Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University.


Deborah Caldwell-Stone, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom -- Privacy and Censorship

Larra Clark, ALA's Public Policy & Advocacy Office -- Equity of Internet Access

Alan S. Inouye, ALA's Public Policy & Advocacy Office -- Library Professionals as Effective Advocates

Joe Thompson, Carroll County Public Library -- Impact of Pandemic and Recent Elections on Information Policy

Timothy Vollmer, University of California-Berkeley -- Copyright and Licensing

Registration information:

Ticketed Event: $90 (IRRT1, fee includes registration, materials, refreshments, lunch). To register for this preconference, you can include it with your initial registration, or add later using the unique link in your email confirmation.

Registration for the ALA Annual Conference is open and advance rates through June 16, 2023. Group registrations are available for libraries, schools, and associations looking to send their staff, students, and faculty as a team.

For questions, please contact the International Relations Office at

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Delin Guerra

Program Officer

International Relations Office