Political Action and Your Library Association

  • Elsa Loftis Oregon College of Art and Craft
Keywords: Oregon, Oregon libraries, academic library, libraries, librarians, northwest, information science, information literacy, social media, writing, library trends, books, donors, library funding, Oregon library association, quarterly, Oregon library association quarterly, American library association, ala, ola, reading, library success, success, evolving roles, OSU, Oregon state, University, web services, public, new discipline, changes in libraries, career, careers, library careers, library career, professional journal, scholarly, academic, circulation, Portland, Multnomah County Library, innovative, inventive, solution, oregon librarians, librarian, political, politics, political action, association, fake news, civics, civic education, inspiring, engagement, role, participation, skills, create, creating, resources, develop, source, evaluate, evaluation, evaluating, University of Oregon, UO, guns, america, guns in america, learn, learned, worst library program, ever, program, tool, right tool, job, for, run, running, a, an, the, ignorance, evolution, reflection, #resistance, resistance, experience, carpool, immigrant, immigrants, refugee, refugees, crook county, progressive, feminist, racism, slavery, wyandotte, history, change, imls, changing times, OLA Today, respond, response, president, OLA president, elsa loftis, pratt institute, pratt, mlis, stewardship, connecticut four, patriot act, freedom, legislative agenda, advocacy, 501(c)(3), lobbying, non profit, district dispatch, douglas county


Political action. Libraries. The two seem to intersect more often than one might expect (unless one is a library worker, supporter, or patron; in which case it doesn’t seem terribly unusual). People in our line of work are often called upon to assume the mantle of library-worker-activists. These calls to action affect us in our various roles as professionals, as private citizens, and as members of the Oregon Library Association.

Our association supports Oregon libraries, the people who work in them, and the communities we serve. That commitment casts a wide net in a large state full of people with diverse backgrounds and different political ideas on both local and national levels. We may have a spectrum of personal political beliefs, but we have a unifying body of core values as library workers.

The people in leadership positions in the association, such as the president, vice president, and other executive board members are elected to serve you, the OLA members. We all work hard to speak up and stand up for Oregon libraries. That’s definitely a team effort. This work is ongoing, and we have guiding principles to direct us when issues appear murky.

Author Biography

Elsa Loftis, Oregon College of Art and Craft

Elsa Loftis is the Director of Library Services at the Oregon College of Art and Craft and serves as the current president of the Oregon Library Association. She earned her MLIS from the Pratt Institute in New York City in 2009, and her B.A. from the University of Oregon. She has worked in public libraries, a museum archive, and academic libraries. Among the many things she loves about library work is serving students and collaborating with the amazing people who work in the library world.

How to Cite
Loftis, E. (2017). Political Action and Your Library Association. Oregon Library Association Quarterly, 23(1), 5-8. https://doi.org/10.7710/1093-7374.1883