Looking Back

Key Accomplishments

In FY 2011, the ALA Public Programs Office received $2.2 million in funding to bring cultural programming grant opportunities and resources to libraries. Since 1992, the office has received more than $27 million in grants to support library programs.

Grants and income from the following organizations made it possible for the ALA Public Programs Office to support libraries in creating cultural, community programs:

School, public, special and academic libraries across the country benefited from the 2011 initiatives of the ALA Public Programs Office. More than 600 libraries and community centers received grant awards and collection materials totaling $651,000. Recipients included 320 public, 155 academic, 25 special, and 57 school libraries, along with more than 50 additional centers for community engagement. enabling outreach to nearly 1.8 million visitors and program participants.

Public programming enables libraries to raise their profile within the community and actively demonstrate their value to patrons and community stakeholders. Support from the ALA Public Programs Office serves as a catalyst, attracting additional funding, with an average 3-to-1 local match, helping libraries fulfill their community programming roles on an ongoing basis. In all types and sizes of communities, libraries benefit from the significant visibility that high-quality arts and humanities programs create.


A committee of experienced programming librarians advises and oversees the work of the ALA Public Programs Office. The ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee, chaired by Terrilyn Chun, systemwide programming coordinator of the Multnomah County (Ore.) Library, is composed of eight active ALA members who contribute their expertise to the ALA Public Programs Office by planning conference programs, identifying potential resources for cultural programming, and advising the strategic planning process.

A Foundation for Library Programs

ALA established the Cultural Communities Fund (CCF) in 2002, and a five-year endowment campaign, spurred by a generous challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, created momentum for this ambitious undertaking. CCF investments now total more than $1.7 million in funds raised from more than 450 foundations, corporate supporters, and individual librarians who understand the importance of ensuring the future of cultural programming in school, academic, special, and public libraries.

With income from CCF, the ALA Public Programs Office will increase its professional development offerings; develop program models, grants, and awards that recognize exemplary cultural programming; and enhance programming outreach to previously underserved audiences, including international, rural, and academic libraries. For more information about CCF, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit the CCF website.