Thursday, December 4, 2014

ALA District Dispatch

On December 9, 2014, the American Library Association’s Washington Office will launch a new and reinvigorated District Dispatch blog that will highlight federal legislation and policy news that impacts libraries. The new District Dispatch makes it easier for library advocates to find important information policy news, search articles, share news and “drill down” further into national policy issues. The new District Dispatch also includes a “Breaking News” feature that makes it easier for advocates to find the most current and critical policy information they need to take action at the national level. Finally, the new blog makes it easier for library staff to find free policy-related webinars.

As we head into a new Congress, ALA members are encouraged to subscribe to the District Dispatch to keep abreast of relevant library policy news, such as federal funding opportunities, copyright reform, open access legislation, Federal Communications Commission proceedings and much more. Visit the blog today:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

From ALA: School Libraries Make the Difference

The ALA Office for Library Advocacy has just published “School Libraries Make the Difference,” a new addition to I Love Libraries, ALA’s website for the public.  It’s available at

Written specifically with parents in mind, it focuses on the importance of quality school libraries and certified school librarians for student success at all education levels.  Facts about student success, lifelong learning and college and career readiness, as well as infographics, and videos produced by state school library associations help to illustrate the importance of quality school library programs.  Tips for getting involved range from visiting a school library to writing op-eds for local publications.

Created in consultation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), this resource complements AASL’s new, “School Libraries Transform Learning,” a digital supplement produced by American Libraries magazine.  It’s available at and

Friday, September 5, 2014

ALA Webinar: Social Security

From the ALA Washington Office:

On September 17, 2014, the ALA Washington Office is hosting a free webinar that will teach participants how to use My Social Security (MySSA), the online Social Security resource. Find out more at

Help get the word out with this sample social media language:

How do you help patrons find accurate Social Security information? Register for the free ALA webinar #libraries

Want to help patrons locate Social Security information? Register for the free ALA webinar #libraries

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ALA Annual Conference Council Documents

The 2014 American Library Association Council documents and actions are now available on Council page:

Take the Library Broadband Speed Test

Take the (library broadband speed) test by August 8!

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Larra Clark  
The American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland College Park are extending the deadline for public libraries to gauge the quality of public access to the Internet until August 8. The speed test study is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and is supported by the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, the Public Library Association, and the Urban Libraries Council.
The new study will complement findings from the 2013-2014 Digital Inclusion Survey released last week, providing a snapshot of the broadband speed a library patron experiences at the device level (pdf or png). Taken together, the data will help inform the Federal Communications Commission’s current E-rate proceeding, including questions about future funding needs.
This new data collection effort will seek responses from a sample of about 1,000 libraries, while allowing any library to capture the broadband speed data for their advocacy use. No software needs to be downloaded, and libraries will be asked to run the speed test at least twice during open hours.
Libraries can log on at before August 8 to capture data. Results from the speed test study will be published in September 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ALA Annual Conference Report

ALA Annual Conference was held in Las Vegas, NV June 26-July 1, 2014. The average daily temperature hovered around 105 degrees ( Over 18,000 attended the event (

Highlights of Meetings:

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler addressed the membership speaking to the issue of Network Neutrality.

ALA President-Elect Courtney Young, will partner with ALA Chapters to provide training for a national cohort of 25 librarians from a cross section of libraries to become certified Career Development Facilitators (CDF). Created by the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the CDF program is a comprehensive training designed to address several facets of career planning and the job search.

Capwiz needs to be moved to the new platform by October Capwiz is the shared online advocacy network for state and federal grassroots advocacy. It provides action alerts to disseminate messages targeting specific elected officials, issues or legislation, allows advocates to contact elected officials easily and is financially supported by ALA.

ALA Annual Conference Council Sessions Report:

1. ALA Strategic Initiatives: Advocacy, Information Policy, Professional and Leadership Development

2. Election Report of the tellers:
  • Committee on Committees:  Ann Crewdson; Karen Downing; Jim Kuhn; Susan Gregory
  • At Large Councilors Planning and Budget Assembly: Loida Garcia-Febo; Matthew Ciszek; Ismail Abdullahi
  • Chapter Councilors PBA Stephanie Braunstein; Regina Cooper

3. Resolutions
  • Stable funding for Air Force libraries
  • Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia government budget autonomy to allow city services, including libraries, to remain open during a Federal Government shutdown
  • Resolution on Digitization of U.S. Government Documents
  • Resolution Reaffirming Support for National Open Internet Policies and “Network Neutrality”
Full Committee reports are available to Councilors on ALA Connect. A link to all council documents will be posted to the blog when it becomes publicly available

Monday, April 21, 2014

ALA Elections Open Until April 25

From ALA Press Release

CHICAGO — The 2014 ALA election will close at 11:59 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 25.  If you have not yet cast your vote, please do so!  If you have “parked” your ballot (started but not yet completed), please return to complete the process.  In the event you cannot locate the email with your voting credentials, the ALA Member and Customer Service Department can help you.  Contact them at, or 1 (800) 545-2433, option 5.  Remember, in order to vote you must have been a member-in-good-standing of ALA and your divisions and round tables by Jan. 31, 2014.  If you joined or renewed your membership after that date, you are ineligible to vote in the 2014 elections.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Library Week & the State of Libraries

From the American Library Association on LinkedIn:

Data and library trends of the past year are detailed in this digital report, released every year as a free American Libraries digital supplement during National Library Week (this week--April 13– 19, 2014).

The report includes data and insights on:
• Ebooks, digital content, and copyright issues
• Library construction and renovation
• Outreach and diversity
• Libraries and community engagement
• Intellectual freedom
• Social networking

You can access the report at