ALA Public Programs Office Programming

Through grants, the ALA Public Programs Office offers the essential resources, funding, visibility and framework needed for libraries to conduct high-quality cultural programs during the project term and beyond. Public Programs Office initiatives bring audiences together to experience diverse and excellent humanities programming across all types of libraries in the United States. The following are descriptions of the PPO programs currently being hosted by libraries. Each library was selected by application.

Book and Media Discussion Programs

The ALA Public Programs Office has long been at the forefront of library discussion programs. In 1982, ALA launched the first national book discussion series, “Let’s Talk About It.” Since then, the range of discussion programs developed and presented by the ALA Public Programs Office has included film and audio discussion series, family reading, discussion and storytelling series, theme-based book discussion series, a radio program/reading discussion program, and more.

“Humanities programs in libraries are essential. Not only do they widen the horizons of participants, but the publicity they generate reaches far beyond the four walls of the library. Successful programming insures continued community support.”—Wicky Sleight, Director, Kirkwood Public Library

Traveling Exhibitions

In communities of all sizes, traveling exhibitions are special events that help identify libraries as important cultural centers. Libraries hosting traveling exhibitions present many related public programs, including lectures by scholars, panel discussions, book and film discussion series, school and college class tours and curriculum activities, essay contests, and concerts. The ALA Public Programs Office coordinates traveling exhibitions for libraries across the country.

Family & Youth Programs

These programs provide enrichment opportunities for families, young adults and children through their school or public libraries.

Arts Programs

These programs provide opportunities for libraries to present theme-based cultural programming for adults and family audiences in order to explore important issues and ideas, featuring live appearances by literary, visual and performing artists.

  • LIVE! @ your library

    Although grant applications are not being accepted at this time, we invite you to learn more about the program; with links to funders.


These awards seek to recognize exemplary programming in libraries - programs that feature collaboration and partnerships, mutually beneficial involvement of program coordinators and program participants, and extensive influence in the local community.

Past PPO Programs

See past PPO programs for inspiration.

This page brought to you by American Library Association’s Public Programs Office.