Key Issues

Key Issues

Lexington County (S.C.) Public Library board member training, November 2019

Get Involved! Become a Library Trustee

Want to get involved in your library at a higher level? Consider becoming a library trustee. Library trustees are powerful advocates for libraries. Through the coordination, hard work, and determination of trustees, new libraries have been built, budgets have been restored and increased, and new respect has been generated for the powerful role libraries play in communities and on campuses.

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Open access week feature image

Who You Gonna Call? Libraries and Open Access Are Busting Misinformation Ghosts

Within the walls of the library, or more often now, behind the authentication screen, is expertly researched and peer-reviewed scholarly literature that can help anyone make important decisions about their health or habits or inform their understanding of complex social problems. Unless you have a university login, however, you may not be able to access that scholarship or use it to improve your personal and professional life. Even those fortunate enough to have institutional access can’t get everything, not even at the richest universities.

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2023 Book Challenge infographic

New Data Shows Record Surge of Book Challenges in Public Libraries

On September 20, the American Library Association (ALA) released new preliminary data that documents the continued rise in attempts to censor books and materials in public, school, and academic libraries during the first eight months in 2023. The data shows that, between January 1 and August 31, 2023, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom reported 695 attempts to censor library materials and services and documented challenges to 1,915 unique titles. The number of unique titles challenged has increased by 20% from the same reporting period in 2022, the year in which the highest number of book challenges occurred since ALA began compiling this data more than 20 years ago.

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Chicago Public Library's Harold Washington Library

ALA Condemns Violence at U.S. Libraries

On September 12, libraries in Chicago and neighboring Aurora, Addison, and Evanston, Illinois, received bomb threats. After investigations, no explosive devices were found at the libraries, but some of the facilities were evacuated and remained closed for the day.

The threats are part of an increase in violence targeted at libraries and librarians across the U.S.  The American Library Association has released a statement condeming the actions.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom

California Governor Pens Love Letter to Libraries

We’re still buzzing from National Library Week (NLW), which wrapped on Saturday, April 29. The awareness, advocacy, and love for libraries, librarians, and library workers that we saw throughout the country was outstanding. While it would be a near-impossible task for us to highlight every single way that libraries were championed during NLW 2023, one

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The State of America's Libraries 2023

Adaptation and Innovation in a Time of Censorship: The State of America’s Libraries 2023

Today, the American Library Association (ALA) kicked off National Library Week with the release of the State of America’s Libraries Report, which tells the story of how libraries are innovating and adapting to improve the well-being of their communities in the midst of censorship challenges. It also includes the highly anticipated list of the most challenged books

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Ukraine flag

Supporting Ukraine

Today is the Independence Day of Ukraine. But despite the celebration, Russia’s invasion of the country persists, entering its sixth month this week. The war has affected people globally, including American librarians and their work. The latest episode of the Call Number with American Libraries podcast looks at how the library profession is supporting Ukraine.

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Image of cover for "State of America's Libraries Special Report: Pandemic Year Two"

A Snapshot of America’s Libraries in 2021

On April 4, the American Library Association (ALA) released the State of America’s Libraries Special Report: Pandemic Year Two, a snapshot of the library community’s resilience, determination, and innovation in unprecedented circumstances. The report, which comes out annually during National Library Week, highlights how US libraries navigated the second year of the pandemic, an upswing

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