ALA’s Washington Office Wants to ‘See’ Your Library in Action

The term “public library” conjures up different images for different people. Some view the library principally as a neighborhood meeting space. Others instead think first and foremost of a convenient, nearby source for information. Still others value their library for the community programming it hosts.

The common thread is that libraries are viewed and appreciated as a quintessentially local resource. 

As Friends and staffers deeply involved in their branch’s work can tell you, if there is a downside to this local orientation, it is that public libraries oftentimes do not have larger platforms with which to showcase and share the great, innovative things they are doing at the local level.

Here is your chance! If your library has implemented pioneering or otherwise interesting service programs in the last few years, ALA’s Washington Office wants to hear about it!

Or, more accurately, see it.

ALA is looking to produce a series of videos to educate legislators and other policymakers about the imp


ortant and inventive library service offerings that federal funding makes possible. For this purpose, they are currently soliciting raw, unedited footage from public libraries across the country.

A non-comprehensive list of programs and services that are good candidates for inclusion are:

  • Assistive devices for people with disabilities
  • Computer literacy programs (and new equipment)
  • Digital content collections (including e-books)
  • E-government services
  • Family literacy classes
  • Homework help and mentoring programs
  • Internet Access
  • Job assistance

Sound interesting? Your footage does not need to be professionally shot or edited. Any length of video will be accepted. You can take video just for this purpose, of, if more convenient, repurpose something from a previous videography project. Please be sure that all subjects appearing in your video are informed and give their consent to participate.

ALA Washington Office staff will view, organize, edit and contextualize clips from across the country in preparation for a release date corresponding with 2014’s National Library Legislative Day. The video series will then prove a valuable lobbying tool for many years to come.

You have two months to get your materials ready; the entry deadline is Friday, November 15. When ready, email your submissions to ALA Washington Office’s Press Officer, Jazzy Wright, at