Ask the Librarian

Do you have a question you want to ask a real, live librarian? Many of your questions may have already been answered. If you have a question that doesn't appear on this page, send your questions to library@ala.org. The staff at the in-house library of the American Library Association is ready to help.

Although the primary mission of the ALA Library is to assist the staff of the American Library Association with research and information to support the programs of the American Library Association and serve ALA members, the Library's staff will respond to reference and information requests in accordance with its mission and collection scope.



Frequently Asked Questions

Using your library
Books and reading
Writing
Help your library
Special events
Facts about libraries

Using your library

What is Banned Books Week? When is it?
My community group needs a regular place to meet. Do libraries allow outside groups to meet in them?
Our town is having “heritage days” with a parade scheduled. We’d like to include a bookcart drill team. How can we find one?
We’d like to start a mother-daughter book club in our college town. Can you help us identify books? Do you have any tips for running a successful club?
What is information literacy?
Our winter weather is getting me down, so I'd like to think ahead to summer warmth and sun by planning our summer reading program. What resources does ALA have to help me?
I read the news report about teens and adults under 30 being the heaviest users of libraries. How can we better serve these "information-savvy" and more technologically forward patrons?
What is Library 2.0?

Books and reading

Does ALA have any reading lists or suggested books for adults?
How can I evaluate the value of my old books?
What is Banned Books Week? When is it?
We’d like to start a mother-daughter book club in our college town. Can you help us identify books? Do you have any tips for running a successful club?
How many books were published last year? What was the average price of a book?
How many books were sold last year?
How many books were read last year?
What are the most popular books checked out of libraries?
Our winter weather is getting me down, so I'd like to think ahead to summer warmth and sun by planning our summer reading program. What resources does ALA have to help me?

Writing

I have been writing my entire life, and I have just finished a book. Now I am looking for a publishing company that is interested in publishing my book or helping me out in any way possible.
I’ve just written/published a book (or CD or DVD). How do I get it into libraries? * Doesn’t ALA tell libraries what books (or other materials to get?)

Help your library

A group of parents at my son’s elementary school want to revitalize the school library and hire a certified librarian. How important is this?
I have some books I no longer want. How can I donate them to libraries?
How can I evaluate the value of my old books?
I don’t have a library in my community. How do I get one?
I want to build a library in another country. How do I do this?
How can I get books for my new library?
How do I prove the value of libraries?

Special events

Our town is having “heritage days” with a parade scheduled. We’d like to include a bookcart drill team. How can we find one?
What is Banned Books Week? When is it?
Our winter weather is getting me down, so I'd like to think ahead to summer warmth and sun by planning our summer reading program. What resources does ALA have to help me?

Facts about libraries

Where can I get a list of all libraries? Do you have a list of e-mail addresses for all libraries?
What are the most popular books checked out of libraries?
How do I prove the value of libraries?