Meet the Candidate for ALA Treasurer: Susan Hildreth

Former IMLS director appeals to ALA members for their vote

March 1, 2016

Susan Hildreth, candidate for ALA treasurer
Susan Hildreth, candidate for ALA treasurer

I am honored to stand for election as treasurer of the American Library Association (ALA). I ask for your support.

As your treasurer, I will be dedicated to ensuring the financial success of ALA at this critical time for our Association and our profession. We must increase revenue and effectively align our resources to support key priorities—advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development—so that libraries and librarians can be relevant and successful now and in the future. I will promote an inclusive environment where the diversity of our membership and communities is respected. To achieve these goals, I will engage actively with the Executive Board, Council, the Budget Analysis and Review Committee, the Finance and Audit Committee, the ALA Endowment Trustees, and with representatives from ALA’s divisions, round tables, and units to ensure our financial resources are being leveraged and grown as effectively as possible to support ALA’s strategic plan and the success of the organization.

The 2015 audit showed our revenues are up by 5%, expenses are slightly down, with a balance of $533,000. A strong Annual Conference in San Francisco, a successful ACRL conference in Portland, Oregon, and prudent Association spending contributed to this positive position. I want to continue to see these favorable results in years to come.

We must develop a 21st-century business plan for ALA in light of the changing environment for professional associations both nationally and globally. The interests and methods of engagement of our current and potential members are changing as rapidly as the knowledge environments in which we live and work. ALA must operate in a responsive and flexible manner, anticipating member engagement preferences and responding proactively.

We must balance support for existing services and programs with strategic opportunities for new business development to provide consistency and growth for the organization. We also must use our resources intentionally and efficiently to advance the organization. We must continually focus on streamlining operations and achieving nimbleness wherever possible, as well as reducing or eliminating investment in programs that may not be producing valuable outcomes.

I am committed to ensuring sound, transparent, and accountable fiscal practices. And I will provide accurate and understandable reports for ALA Executive Board, Council, and our membership. We must be able to demonstrate clearly how our funding allocations support our priorities.

I have recently completed my term as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and have national and global experience in championing the importance and relevance of libraries. IMLS made impactful investments in public, school, and academic libraries that aligned closely with Association priorities, including ALA initiatives Libraries Transforming Communities and the Center for the Future of Libraries, early literacy services, makerspaces, STEM learning, and the development of a national digital platform. I also serve as an Aspen Institute fellow, providing counsel and advancing the work of the institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries.

I have a broad and diverse background in the library field and an MBA as well as an MLS. I have served as president of the Public Library Association, as an ALA councilor at-large, and in other activities since 1973. I have managed organizations of all sizes at the local, state, and federal level. I am confident that I can provide the dynamic and collaborative leadership that is needed for ALA’s success.