Get Involved

Get Involved

If you’re visiting, chances are you already know that libraries are a treasure. As a library patron, you know that the library is the heart and soul of the community. But not everyone in your community gets it. Libraries need people to get involved and spread the word about the value of the library to neighbors, friends, and decision-makers.

The first step is to visit your library and talk to your librarian. There are more formal opportunities, too, such as joining a Friends of the Library group or becoming a library trustee. Throughout the history of the U.S., it has been through the coordination, hard work, and determination of library-loving people that new libraries have been built, budgets have been restored and increased, and a larger understanding has been generated for the powerful role libraries play in communities, in schools, and on college campuses. Read on to learn how your can get involved to help your local library thrive.

Illustration of a public library card

Get a Library Card

It's the most powerful card in your wallet!

A library card is a passport to all that today’s libraries offer, including free access to books (including e-books and audiobooks) music, movies, computers, homework help, assistance with resumes and job searches, accurate health and financial information, adult education courses, programs, and much more.

Already have a library card? Bring two friends to the library to sign up for theirs!

Contact your library to find out how you can help.

There are so many ways to get involved with your library depending on your interest, skills, and time constraints. The best way to learn what your local library needs in terms of support is to ask a librarian.

They may need show of community support at a library board meeting or school board meeting or offer you a myriad of other ways to volunteer.

Talk to your friends and neighbors.

Talk to your friends and neighbors about the value of the local school and public library to your community.

Check out What Libraries Do for general talking points and talk to your librarian about how best to promote the work of your local library.

You may even consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper or submit an opinion piece.

Vote for candidates that support libraries.

Libraries are primarily funded at the local and state level. Stay alert at election time for changes to taxes, levies, or millages that might impact staffing, collections, programs, or services at your library.  Find out if local candidates support libraries and vote for them.

At the federal level, when it comes to influencing Congress, there’s strength in numbers. Sign up for our mailing list to receive action alerts and updates on policy issues affecting America’s libraries. We will email you about key legislative issues and how to take action.

Join ALA's Advocacy List to receive updates and alerts.

Fight Censorship

Libraries and schools across the country are experiencing unprecedented levels of attempts to ban or remove books from their shelves. The American Library Association documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number in more than two decades. Censors targeted 2,571 unique titles in 2022, and of those titles, the vast majority were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community or Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

See what you can do to push back against censorship in your community.

Join your Friends of the Library Group

Library lovers everywhere are invited to join their local Friends of the Library group. These dedicated volunteers advocate for libraries, raise funds, sponsor events, and host used book sales. By contributing as a library Friend, you can make a lasting impact: Friends can literally make the difference between a budget increase or cut for their libraries. If you haven't joined a Friends group, contact your local library and find out how to join. If your library doesn't have one, read more about how to start a Friends group for your library.

Become 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. As part of a trustee board, trustees serve on a volunteer basis, can be elected or appointed to a library board for a period of time, and are tasked with the duty of helping to direct the funds and policies of an institution. In general, the library board of trustees has a role in determining the mission of the library, setting the policy that governs the library, hiring and evaluating a library director, and overseeing the general management of the library. This role varies with every library system. For specifics on the role your board of trustee has, contact your local library.

Learn more about becoming a library trustee.

More Ways to Get Involved

Learn more about the value of America's libraries.

As great democratic institutions, libraries serve people of every age, income level, location, ethnicity, and physical ability, and provide the full range of information resources needed to live, learn, govern, and work. Learn more.

School libraries need your support.

In too many schools, school library budgets and school librarian  positions are being cut. This puts our children’s education and work- force readiness at peril. Learn more.

Join or start a Book Club in your community

Book clubs provide a wonderful forum for readers to talk about books and the reading experience and libraries contain many helpful resources for book groups. Check out our guide for successful book clubs.

Subscribe to the I Love Libraries newsletter for library news and advocacy updates.

Support I Love Libraries and our efforts to promote the value of libraries and librarians.

Scroll to Top