ALA announces 2022 Policy Corps members

For Immediate Release
Thu, 02/17/2022


Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

Public Policy & Advocacy

American Library Association

Washington, D.C. -- The American Library Association (ALA) announced today the names of the library and information professionals selected to participate in the 2022 ALA Policy Corps, which aims to develop a cadre of experts with deep and sustained knowledge of national public policies in areas key to ALA's strategic goals. 

  • Jensen Adams, Energy & Sustainability Officer, Kansas City Public Library, MO
  • Audrey Barbakoff, Community Engagement & Economic Development Manager, King County Library System, WA
  • Becky Calzada, District Library Coordinator, Leander Independent School District, TX
  • Tiffeni Fontno, Head Librarian, Boston College, MA
  • Ursula Gorham, Director, MLIS Program & Senior Lecturer, University of Maryland, MD
  • Christy James, District Library & Media Services Coordinator, Charleston County School District, SC
  • Tim Miller, Executive Director, Western Plains Library System, OK
  • Bradley Wiles, Head of Special Collections & Archives, Northern Illinois University, IL
  • Jose (Miguel) Ruiz, Library Supervisor, Arlington Public Library, VA
  • Tammy Westergard, Project SANDI Coordinator, Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, NV

“ALA welcomes our fourth Policy Corps cohort of library professionals dedicated to advocacy,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “From continued lack of affordable access to digital content to the unprecedented volume of book challenges, the past year has shown the imperative for library advocates to protect our core values. Thanks to the persistence of library advocates nationwide, we also have more opportunities than ever to address problems such as digital inequity that our communities face. Working with policy experts and ALA’s vast advocacy network, Policy Corps members will help ensure that our profession rises to the opportunities and challenges in the current environment.”

The Corps’ goals include developing policy experts available to the library community and ALA, creating longevity in expertise and engagement in early to mid-career library and information professionals, and positively impacting national public policy priorities.

Launched by ALA Past President Jim Neal in October 2017 as an extension of the Libraries Transform; Libraries Lead campaign, the Corps is designed to build on other ALA professional development programs. The initiative is guided by an advisory group of ALA members and staff, which Neal co-chairs.

“I thank the selection subcommittee: Marc Gartler, Nancy Kranich, Mark Miller, Ray Pun, Steven Yates, and subcommittee chair Qiana Johnson, for their commitment to establishing an accomplished, diverse cohort,” Neal said. “Our fourth cohort adds members from all library types and states from which we previously did not have Corps members. We all have lots of work to do together.”

In addition to cultivating issue expertise, the cohort will receive training in other skills such as public speaking and media engagement to be effective advocates. Corps members will begin their orientation and training via virtual sessions and come together for the first time at a workshop in Washington, D.C. this spring.

More information is available at