ALA Council

last person joined: 2 months ago 

Building Coalitions

  • 1.  Building Coalitions

    Posted 12 days ago

    The following message is sent on behalf of American Library Association President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.




    In response to your question about ALA regularly working with other organizations and on other topics the following may be helpful to you and other Councilors and members.


    Building coalitions with other Washington-based groups aligned with ALA's positions is one among many things that the Public Policy and Advocacy (PPA) office is charged with. Our longtime presence in Washington facilitates relationships with reputable partners in education, copyright, broadband, and other issues ALA members care about.


    Another task of PPA is to steward the Association's resources – staff time, advocate energy, credibility capital – and judge where libraries and the profession will get the greatest ROI. The issue you raise (PSLF) is a perfect case in point. As the program has numerous organizations throughout the education community and beyond advocating for it, the weight of ALA's good name is a sufficient contribution to the cause.


    On the other hand, ALA is bringing the full weight of our robust advocacy network to bear in support of IMLS, which is critical to libraries but does not have as broad support as PSLF. Similarly, ALA is investing substantial time and effort into the Build America's Libraries Act, which would be the first federal funding for library construction in over 20 years! The bill provides $5 billion to repair, modernize, and construct library facilities in underserved and marginalized communities.


    I appreciate the way the PPA team is deploying ALA's limited resources to keep up with the policy agenda that COL has approved. It's hard to keep track of all the work coming out of our DC office on so many issues – I know because they frequently approach me with "opportunities" to advocate for libraries and library workers and then share our efforts broadly. The best way to keep up with all ALA's coalition and public policy work is through the reports that PPA provides to Council. For real-time updates, you can follow @LibraryPolicy on Twitter. In fact, amplifying ALA advocacy work on social media (such as the Build Act alert) is a valuable way for member leaders to support the Association and our impact on public policy.  


    I hope this response is helpful.




    Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

    2020-2021 ALA President



  • 2.  RE: Building Coalitions

    Posted 12 days ago
    Thanks so much for this, President Jefferson! 

    Acknowledging that in the case of student debt forgiveness our role within the coalition is mainly in lending our name, would it be possible for any coalition update (particularly since there is a meeting next week) be shared via Connect or another channel? I am happy to help get the word out, and it would mean a great deal to many of our members. Does the Coalition itself have any web presence? If there is a newsletter, PPA channel, or another source that it is better I connect folks to for information of this kind, I am also happy to do that. 

    Thanks for helping me learn my way around too! Council is turning out to be such a terrific learning experience about our Association. I really appreciate your help and patience. 

  • 3.  RE: Building Coalitions

    Posted 9 days ago

    This is a great discussion. I wanted to share another example of PPA's coalition work.


    ALA recently joined with PK-12 partner organizations to file a petition with the FCC, organized by the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Consortium to extend E-rate for off-campus learning. Coalition advocacy amplifies our voice and sometimes it is appropriate for ALA to take the lead, and other times, partner organizations do so. Who takes the lead is a strategic decision based upon the best chances for success.



    From the SHLB newsletter:


    On January 26, SHLB led a coalition of education advocates in petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to enable E-rate funding for off-campus learning. If granted, the petition will empower schools and libraries to connect the 15 to 16 million K-12 students lacking home internet access by extending their networks without jeopardizing E-rate dollars.

    The coalition of education advocates includes the American Library Association (ALA), the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the State E-rate Coordinators' Alliance (SECA), the Urban Libraries Council (ULC), the Wireless Future Project at New America, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

    Here's a timeline of updates on the off-campus connectivity issue: 

    • January 26: SHLB petition filed.
    • February 1: FCC seeks comment on SHLB petition, with Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel issuing a statement in support of updating E-rate as SHLB proposes. 
    • February 4: Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., leads 36 senators in a letterurging the FCC to leverage the E-rate program for remote learning connectivity and devices. 
    • February 12: House Commerce Committee votes to include $7.6 billion in E-rate remote learning funding in the filibuster-proof Click to follow link.">reconciliation language for the next COVID-19 relief package.
    • February 16: Dozens of companies, anchor institutions, public interest groups, and other organizations signal their support for the SHLB petition. 

    Next steps: You can file reply comments in support of SHLB's E-rate petition by February 23 here







    Many Indigenous peoples, including the Apsáalooke (Crow), Niimiipuu (Nez Perce), Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Lakota), Piikani (Blackfeet), Seliš (Salish), Shoshone, and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Northern Cheyenne), have traditional claims to the lands upon which Montana State University (MSU) physically sits. Indigenous histories and perspectives inform my work.

    Ann Dutton Ewbank, PhD
    Associate Professor and Department Head
    Director, School Library Media Certificate Program
    Department of Education
    College of Education, Health and Human Development
    Montana State University
    (406) 994-5788