Friday, September 1, 2023

Feel Good Friday - American Library Association

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month and if you know me, you know I love libraries. Those are the only reasons I need to spend today’s Feel Good Friday talking about the American Library Association.

Founded in 1876 during a Convention of Librarians in Philadelphia, the mission of the American Library Association (ALA) is “To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”

As a professional association, much of what the ALA does centers on supporting their 58,000+ members. That includes information on career paths and salaries, publications and resources, as well as professional development and conferences that help librarians build connections and advance their careers.

The ALA also has a Public Policy and Advocacy Office in Washington, D.C., that works to advance policy issues critical to libraries, such as library funding, net neutrality and access to affordable, broadband internet. They provide toolkits and training for people interested in becoming library advocates. In recent years ALA advocates have protected $27 million in funding for school libraries and supported legislation for broadband development in rural America and in Tribal lands. 

In addition, the ALA website is full of information and resources for librarians on topics including banned and challenged books and how to fight censorship, how libraries can create programming to promote diversity, and toolkits to help libraries expand adult and multilingual literacy services.

If you’d like to support the American Library Association and their goal of ensuring access to information for all, there are many ways to do so. Make a donation, shop for banned books products and raise awareness on social media. Follow the ALA on Facebook and on Instagram @americanlibraryassociation. #LibraryCardSignUpMonth

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