President’s Message

By Michelle Simon

Libraries=Strong, Sustainable Communities


This past year, AzLA made great strides in advocating for the value of libraries in our state. The success of 2018’s theme–Libraries Transform Because Access Equals Opportunity–opened the door to critical conversations about the significant role of libraries, and librarians, as integral partners in local efforts for community sustainability. I am excited to begin a new year by continuing this important work.

Libraries support economic vitality, environmental quality, and social equity–the foundational tenets of sustainability. Arizona Libraries build strong communities through education, workforce development, and economic growth by empowering people. As community connectors, our libraries leverage these efforts by creating safe and welcoming spaces where each person’s voice can be heard. Arizona Libraries continually champion sustainable communities through their support, enhancement, and preservation of natural resources and assets by building powerful partnerships with local government entities and community organizations.

The value of libraries cannot be underestimated. Our libraries are safe havens from natural and man-made disasters, conquerors of fake news, and proponents of religious and civil liberties. Libraries are anchors, centers for education, and the heart of the community. Strong, sustainable communities do not exist without the support of the library.

Let’s begin this year by taking inventory. How does your library support economic vitality, environmental quality, and social equity? What actions can we take to create opportunities that improve the strength and sustainability of our communities? Share your stories with us by using the hashtag #AzLA2019. Together, we will continue to advocate for the value of libraries in Arizona and help everyone to understand that “Libraries=Strong, Sustainable Communities.”


Michelle Simon

President, Arizona Library Association

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