End of the year message: Moving Forward Together!

July-December 2018 by ALA President, Loida Garcia-Febo.

My service as President of the American Library Association began at the close of the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Over the past six months I have visited libraries and conversed with library workers across the U.S. and other countries. As I wrote in Serving with Love, my recent column for American Libraries magazine (AL), the renewed love for the communities we serve makes me feel hopeful about the future of libraries. My other columns for AL include Libraries=Strong Communities and From Local to Global.


We had inspiring conversations during my National Library Tour to advocate for libraries that so far has included Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado, Cambridge Public Library, Harvard and MIT Libraries in Massachusetts, and Cranston High School East in Rhode Island. As part of my Global Tour, which includes ALA’s long-standing commitments in other countries, I gave keynotes at the Guadalajara and Sharjah book fairs. Being invited to speak at the European Union Parliament to advocate for libraries was a very special honor.

Video about the National Library Tour here. News coverage of the National Library Tour, and tools to get involved such as bookmarks, Because Statements, templates, and Facebook and Instagram frames, here.


It was fantastic to join library conferences/events in Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Missouri, Oregon, the New England Library Association Conference in Rhode Island, and the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in New Mexico. The topics of my keynotes included privacy, human rights, serving everyone in our communities, diversity, new librarians, advocacy, wellness, and international librarianship. I loved connecting with many library workers across the country. We love our ALA affiliates. ALA and its 11 Divisions, Chapters and regional library associations are growing stronger.


I am grateful to library workers and library advocates for their collaboration and support. Together, we have faced myriad situations. It is my belief that we learn from everything to move forward stronger. We are in this together! Here’s to 2019!

Loida Garcia-Febo