ALA Policy Corps Member Spotlight: Qiana Johnson

I am very new to advocacy, but I look forward to getting started. One of the policy issues that I am most interested in is libraries’ key role in education and learning at all levels. Libraries support lifelong learning starting with school libraries on through public libraries offering coding classes, business development assistance, and access to health information. Another policy issue I’m interested in is privacy—helping the public to understand what information they are sharing and is being collected about them. I also wanted to be part of the conversations among involved parties about the data that is being collected, why it’s being collected, and how it’s being safeguarded. We must hold this conversation in a variety of arenas, including within libraries to discuss what data we and our vendors are collecting about patrons.

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ALA Policy Corps Member Spotlight: Todd Carpenter

To advocate for these issues, first, get involved. You can use your voice to contribute to the conversation. Far too often people sit on the sidelines and don’t engage thinking their voices can’t do anything. That’s wrong. Second, advocate in your community—be that with publishers, suppliers, or patrons. Respectfully talk with them about your concerns, and explain the importance of the issue for you and for them. Finally, get and stay focused. Settle on one or two things that you care most about, and address those issues with passion.

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ALA Policy Corps Member Spotlight: Hannah Buckland

Libraries are social institutions; when we advocate for library services, we advocate for people. I look forward to being an active part of the network Policy Corps creates while providing advocacy tools for other library workers. Living in northern Minnesota and working in a tiny library can be isolating, so I really value these connections. The Policy Corps also affords the opportunity to bring the tribal college library perspective to the national platform. I am humbled to have landed in this role.

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2018 ALA Presidential Candidates Respond to ALCTS’ Questions

Every year ALCTS sends a list of questions to the ALA presidential candidates. This year Wanda Brown and Peter Hepburn are the candidates for the 2019–20 presidency of ALA, and both responded thoughtfully to our questions. Ballot mailing for the 2018 ALA election will begin on Monday, March 12, and will run through Wednesday, April 4. Results will be announced on April 11, 2018.

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