September 25, 2016

ALA, Mobile Commons Facilitate Library Advocacy


The new service helps initiate calls to Congress

The American Library Association has partnered with mobile phone marketing and outreach provider Mobile Commons to launch a new text message alert and advocacy service for librarians.

Each month, subscribers will receive an estimated 2 to 3 text message action alerts from ALA’s Office of Government Relations. The messages will give subscribers talking points on a specific, timely issue, and then offer the option of automatically making a toll-free call to the offices of their legislators.

The Mobile Commons service has proven to be a powerful advocacy tool for other organizations. In January, over 200,000 people—primarily users who had signed up for text alerts from Tumblr, Reddit, Engine Advocacy, and the Center for Rights—used the Mobile Commons platform to call their Congressional representatives in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

“Sites such as Tumblr may not be Washington insiders with traditional lobbying efforts, but they were able to harness their massive reach and make their voices heard,” Jed Alpert, Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Commons, said in a release at the time.

Advocates who wish to sign up for this new, library-specific service can text the word “library” to 877877 or sign up online at

“This timely program will make it much easier for library advocates to stay informed and get involved in the issues facing our nation’s libraries,” Ted Wegner, ALA grassroots coordinator, said in a May 3 blog post by ALA Press Officer Jazzy Wright.

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On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.


  1. This is an awesome, forward-thinking idea. It’ll be interesting to see how many people sign up and how targeted the alerts will be.