The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the American Library Association (ALA) a planning grant to support the one-year (October 2013-September 2014) development of a comprehensive research agenda and five-year implementation plan to understand and document the characteristics, audiences, outcomes, and value of public programming in libraries at a national level. Titled National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (NILPPA), this project aims to support strategic long-term advancement of understanding of how library programs increase broad public access to knowledge and foster support for lifelong learners across diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, including those with special needs or those underserved by services in their communities. More information about the NILPPA project – including project advisors, updates, resources and findings – can be found using the navigation menu to the left of this page.

NILPPA is a project of ALA’s Public Programs Office, which promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service and helps libraries excel as community cultural centers by providing librarians with leadership, resources, and support.

The ALA Public Programs Office is grateful to project advisors Carolyn Anthony, Frances Ashburn, Geoffrey Banks, David W. Carr, Monica Chapa Domercq, Terrilyn Chun, Julie Derden, Theresa Embrey, Henry Fortunato, Janine Golden, Larry Grieco, Tim Grimes, Colleen Leddy, Annie Norman, Manju Prasad-Rao, Kathy Rosa, and Marcia Warner, as well as Sean Beharry, Kate Flinner, John Fraser, Beverly K. Sheppard, and Rebecca Joy Norlander from New Knowledge Organization Ltd., and Deborah Robertson, Colleen Barbus and Sarah Ostman from the ALA Public Programs Office, for their work throughout this planning process, as well as the hundreds of respondents to our survey via ProgrammingLibrarian.org and the thousands of programming librarians who contributed to our report archive over the past 24 years. Sincere thanks also to Robert Horton at the Institute of Museum and Library Service and Chris Jowaisas at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who have been invaluable thinking partners in this process.

About NewKnowledge

New Knowledge Organization Ltd. (NewKnowledge) is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing understanding of how people learn about, understand and engage in solving problems that face society. NewKnowledge is committed to a pluralist approach to all its work, with a staff of 20 people drawn from a broad range of academic backgrounds, life, and work experiences. John Fraser, President and CEO, and Beverly Sheppard, Director of Learning City Initiatives, led the team’s work on the project. Rebecca Joy Norlander, a researcher focusing on education and social change, and Sean Beharry, a Library and Information Science student at Queens College, substantially supported the initiative. For more information about each of these team members, please see here: http://www.newknowledge.org/our-team/


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum
and Library Services grant number LG-62-13-0210-13, and by funding from
the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.

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Photography by Thomas Alleman, Anne Hamersky, Mark McDonald, and Chris Savas.