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Happy 72nd birthday to the Washington Office

ALA Washington OfficeIn 1945, the ALA announced the establishment of the Washington Office. It began operation 72 years ago today on October 1. The Washington Office was charged with educating and working with legislators and public officials to obtain funding and policies that benefit libraries and public access to information. In addition, the Washington Office was—and continues to be—responsible for making official comments on proposed regulations and advocating for legislation that supports libraries and library service through the press and personal contacts, in cooperation with state and local library agencies.

We are grateful to ALA’s members for their steadfast engagement and for allowing us the privilege of being ALA’s voice in Washington for over seven decades.

Here are seven ways you can celebrate our birthday this week:

  1. Sign up to receive ALA’s advocacy alerts at
  2. Let us know about your recent meetings with your elected officials.
  3. Browse the Washington Office’s newsletters in the archives.
  4. Check out archival photos of our leaders over the years.
  5. Save the date for National Library Legislative Day 2018—May 7 and May 8, 2018
  6. Follow ALA on Twitter and send the Washington Office a message via the hashtag #ALAWO.
  7. Speaking of archives, do you have some history (photos, postcards, documents, stories, etc.) related to the Washington Office? Send us a note at and share what you have.
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Emily Wagner

Emily is a deputy director of Advocacy Communications in the ALA's Advocacy and Public Policy Office. She holds a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master's in library and information science from Catholic University.

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