For immediate release | June 20, 2023

ALA to host FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, highlight digital equity at Annual Conference

Washington, D.C. – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will be a featured speaker during the ALA Annual Conference Opening General Session in Chicago on Friday, June 23, at 4:00 p.m. Central.

Chairwoman Rosenworcel, who has served as a commissioner since 2012, will share new ways the FCC is partnering with libraries and schools to advance digital equity in communities and highlight the vital role of libraries in ensuring access to information.

Rosenworcel was confirmed as chair of the FCC in 2021. A powerful federal policymaker on information access and digital equity, Chairwoman Rosenworcel is known for her commitment to strengthening the federal E-rate program, which makes internet service affordable for thousands of libraries and schools across the nation. Under Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s leadership, the agency has distributed billions of dollars in pandemic relief funding to individuals and community anchor institutions to provide internet service and connected devices.

Digital equity is at the forefront of the conference, which will bring an estimated 15,000 library professionals, exhibitors, advocates, speakers and guests to Chicago.

On Saturday, June 25, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Digital Equity Director Angela Thi Bennett will speak as part of the “Leverage Federal Funds to Advance Digital Equity in Your Community Update” at 4 p.m. The panel will discuss the most recent developments in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) broadband programs and share examples of digital equity work underway in several states.

On Sunday, June 26, members of the ALA E-rate Taskforce will share "E-rate Innovations: Fostering Access to Underserved Communities" at 1 p.m. Speakers will discuss how libraries are exploring new methods of reaching underserved communities through kiosks, setellites, mini-branches, or other unstaffed locations.

Taking place June 23-27 in Chicago, the 2023 ALA Annual Conference will explore issues impacting libraries and their communities, with an agenda that includes more than 200 educational programs that are created and curated by library professionals.

Conference attendees will have access to livestreamed sessions during the conference with on-demand access through August 31, 2023. In addition, ALA is offering a Digital Experience, a virtual option that gives participants online access to more than 60 conference presentations, including the Opening General Session.

For more information, visit



Shawnda Hines

Deputy Director, Communications

American Library Association

Public Policy & Advocacy Office