Center for the Future of Libraries


Center for the Future of Libraries




The Center for the Future of Libraries works to identify emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve; promote futuring and innovation techniques to help librarians and library professionals shape their future, and build connections with experts and innovative thinkers to help libraries address emerging issues.


In these interactive sessions, you'll hear from industry thought-leaders as they share ideas, best practices, and innovations on advocacy, strategy, and sustainability.


Connecting the Dots: Engaging Stakeholders in Effective Library Advocacy

January 23, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm, CT

When traditional silos are breached and a broader range of stakeholders are engaged, advocates amplify impact, strengthen libraries, and support communities. Hear from advocates representing diverse stakeholders who will share examples, reflect on key learnings, and explore opportunities for greater collaboration.

Member leaders representing ALA's Committees on Library Advocacy, Legislation, Chapter Relations, and United for Libraries Advocacy will connect the dots on engaging and mobilizing advocates across traditional boundaries to increase impact and improve outcomes for libraries and communities they serve. Takeaways include actionable steps to enhance advocacy; participants will engage in collective consideration of opportunities to reach additional stakeholders.

Learning Objectives:

  • learn from a diverse group of library advocates who will share real-world examples of connecting with diverse stakeholders to advance library advocacy.
  • take actionable steps to strengthen advocacy for any type of library, and improve outcomes for both library and community.
  • identify, prioritize, and engage in new opportunities for collaboration to achieve advocacy and policy objectives.

Presented by Content Leader:  Steven D. Yates, Ph.D. – Assistant Director and Coordinator, School Library Media Certification, The University of Alabama

Panelists include: Lori Fisher – Assistant State Librarian, New Hampshire State Library; Sara Dallas – Director, IFRT Program Committee; Michelle Robertson, Ph.D.; Deborah Doyle – Chair, Sonoma County (Calif.) Library Commission; and Ray Pun – Librarian

Maximizing Today’s Signals to Imagine Tomorrow’s Libraries

January 22, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm, CT

Using strategic foresight to create the libraries of the future is essential.  The first step is to recognize, gather and utilize the signals of what’s happening today to inform future decision-making.  This session will introduce participants to the practice of foresight; how to identify signals and practical ways to begin using today’s headlines; and stories to imagine potential scenarios for libraries.

Presented by Content Leader:  Chance Hunt – Assoc. Teaching Professor, The Information School, University of Washington


Sustainable Thinking Builds Strong Libraries and Resilient Communities 

January 23, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, CT

ALA’s core value of sustainability is rising in prominence among library professionals. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, 2020’s racial reckoning, and the financial insecurity felt by so many due to the COVID pandemic all contribute to a sense of urgency for taking action toward a more sustainable future. There is a need for guidance on how libraries can infuse sustainable thinking into action within their libraries and communities. Members of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative (SLI), an award-winning benchmarking program, will demonstrate how libraries can take an active, visible role in building sustainable and resilient communities.

Upon completion, participants will:

  • leave with knowledge and understanding of the triple bottom line definition of sustainability and how it relates to libraries.
  • learn how to build organizational buy-in for sustainable thinking and sustainable concepts in libraries.
  • understand how the new core value of sustainability opens doorways to funding sources, community support, and new partnerships outside of the library.

Presented by Content Leaders:  Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MLS – Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), Executive Director, Sustainable Libraries Initiative, Sustainable Libraries LLC, and Lisa G. Kropp, MLS – Library Director, Lindenhurst Memorial Library


See the full list of LibLearnX education sessions, searchable by session type and topic.



LibLearnX is a must-attend learning experience exclusively for ALA Members.

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