Write for Public Libraries Magazine


Public Libraries, published six times a year, is the official publication of the Public Library Association. ALA’s only journal devoted exclusively to public libraries, Public Libraries magazine offers important industry news, PLA/ALA updates, and columns and feature articles that offer strategies and ideas that can make a difference in your career.

Get Started

Submissions to Public Libraries are invited and encouraged. If you’re interested in writing a feature article, a shorter opinion piece, reviewing books, or sending press releases, please query the editor, Kathleen Hughes, khughes@ala.org to discuss your idea and deadlines. It is ideal to contact us far in advance of the issue you are interested in writing for. Upcoming editorial themes and deadlines are listed below. For more information about writing for Public Libraries, please read our editorial guidelines. If you have more questions, contact the editor, Kathleen Hughes, khughes@ala.org.

Review Process

Manuscripts are evaluated by persons knowledgeable about the topic of the work and the Feature Editor. The evaluation process generally takes between 4–6 weeks.

How to Submit

All manuscripts and supplemental materials must be submitted through the online Public Libraries Manuscript Submission Form.

A paper copy is not necessary. The author will be directed through the process to enter information about the paper (author/s, title, abstract, etc.) and to upload the files (manuscript, figures, tables, appendixes).

2024 Editorial Themes and Production Schedule

Issue Editorial Theme Deadlines
January/February 2024 Powerful Partnerships: Thriving Through Collaboration
This issue will explore the latest trends in partnership-building, delving into the transformative potential of strategic partnerships and how libraries can successfully integrate these connections into their work. The issue will further highlight the evolving landscape of outreach efforts, offering insights into how libraries are adapting their practices in response to changing community needs, including considerations such as the future of bookmobile services.

Query editor Kathleen Hughes (khughes@ala.org) about submitting an article for this issue by:
October 13, 2023

Submit approved article by:
November 13, 2023

March/April 2024 Conference Issue – Insights and Inspiration
The issue will share the energy and knowledge to be found at the PLA 2024 conference. We are not soliciting articles for this issue.

Query editor Kathleen Hughes (khughes@ala.org) about submitting an article for this issue by:
December 12, 2022

Submit approved article by:
January 11, 2023


May/June 2024 Artificial Intelligence: Illuminating Possibilities
This issue focuses on the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and the profound impact it holds for libraries. Content will share crucial conversations surrounding the library's role in AI, and apps like CHATgpt, exploring benefits, potential drawbacks, and ethical implementation. Delves into how libraries can proactively respond to the rise of AI, integrating it into programming, and addressing concerns related to privacy, diversity, and algorithmic biases. Readers will gain valuable strategies for incorporating AI into library services while upholding ethical guidelines.

Query editor Kathleen Hughes (khughes@ala.org) about submitting an article for this issue by:
February 9, 2024

Submit approved article by:
March 11, 2024

July/August 2024 Readers Advisory and Family Engagement Combined Issue
This issue will uncover innovative approaches to readers' advisory, including transformative book clubs, inclusive practices, and engaging strategies for reaching teenagers amidst the prevailing climate of book banning. Emphasizing the significance of family engagement and community involvement, this combined issue provides a platform to showcase impactful library programs and services.

Query editor Kathleen Hughes (khughes@ala.org) about submitting an article for this issue by:
April 5, 2024

Submit approved article by:
May 6, 2024

September/October 2024 Advocacy and Data Combined Issue
By intertwining library data analysis and advocacy, this joint issue offers a powerful framework for libraries to enact positive change. Readers will discover effective strategies for utilizing data to strengthen advocacy initiatives, empowering them to engage and mobilize their communities.

Query editor Kathleen Hughes (khughes@ala.org) about submitting an article for this issue by:
June 7, 2024

Submit approved article by:
July 8, 2024

November/December 2024 Empowering Literacy: Unlocking Opportunities for All
Embrace the power of literacy in its diverse forms, spanning Basic, Early, Civic, Digital, Financial, Health, Legal, Nutrition, News literacy, and more. This issue celebrates the multitude of literacy initiatives and programs that libraries have developed to empower their communities. Seeking articles that will measure the success of literacy programming, highlight impactful services that engage communities in various literacies and those that share robust and transformative literacy programs, regardless of the specific type, to inspire and spark new ideas across the library world.

Query editor Kathleen Hughes (khughes@ala.org) about submitting an article for this issue by:
August 7, 2024

Submit approved article by:
September 9, 2024

Outside of articles focused on the themes, manuscripts are considered on a rolling basis in the order in which they are received. Upon acceptance and author notification, articles are slotted into the production schedule for the next available issue.