New 'Field Guides' column from policy experts to explore key library issues

For Immediate Release
Mon, 03/04/2024


Ian Ware

Communications Manager

Public Policy & Advocacy Office

American Library Association

WASHINGTON — The American Library Association (ALA) announced today a new column in American Libraries magazine, “Field Guides.” Featuring experts in policy areas ranging from artificial intelligence and copyright to digital access and equity, the new column will provide ALA members, library advocates, and library professionals in all settings with insights into the policy issues facing the field today – and tomorrow.  

Developed and stewarded by ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, this bi-monthly column begins publication today, March 4, 2024, with a piece by Lorcan Dempsey, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the University of Washington's Information School, exploring the implications of artificial intelligence technologies in the library arena. Dempsey dives into the practical ways libraries can handle and advocate on issues involving large language models and artificially generated content, including what types of trainings are needed for staff members to better understand the short- and long-term effects of the technologies.  

Future authors will include library leaders, law experts, policymakers, and others who can provide specific, thought-provoking insights into the broad range of policy issues that intersect with the work of libraries. ALA Past President and Senior Policy Fellow Sari Feldman and Larra Clark, deputy director of the ALA Public Policy & Advocacy Office and the Public Library Association, are serving as guest editors for the new series of columns. 

For more information about "Field Guides," check out the first issue of the column, out today 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