Candidate for ALA President
Candidate for ALA President
Posted Tue, 03/01/2011 - 13:36
Leading from Libraries
My passion for libraries began with my first job at the age of 16 as a page in a public library. That experience was the first step in my more than 35-year-long journey through positions in all types of libraries: public, special, academic, and even a multitype library system. In addition I was an instructor in a school media specialist program.
As a professional librarian on the frontline, I am keenly aware of the concerns and challenges that confront library staff and boards of trustees today. As the next ALA president I will be uniquely equipped to articulate the needs that we all face and to advocate for all types of libraries. I will work with you to represent our shared purpose to the world with passion and a sense of humor.
Intellectual freedom, literacy, privacy, advocacy, and diversity have been central to my life and work. These core values will serve as the spine of my presidential agenda. I applaud past ALA presidential initiatives that have addressed these principles and I will strive to see them flourish.
Leading from Libraries will concentrate on two goals of the ALA 2015 strategic plan: transforming libraries and member engagement. We have always been evolving, changing, transforming. The question is, “What can the American Library Association do to help its members and our libraries meet the latest budgetary, technological, and other challenges that we face?” In recent years, our colleagues around the country have achieved remarkable success despite incredibly difficult economic times. They inspire me!
I will champion the way library staffs have been leading from libraries—the way they have reached through the doors of their buildings and made an impact in their communities. As president I will use our combined energy to find ways to share our success stories with each other. I will make ALA the vibrant “go-to” place where members will share collective knowledge and collaborate in ways that will move all of us forward no matter our unit affiliation. Through social networking tools, toolkits, e-resources, and publications, we will begin to connect with each other more openly and easily.
I will bring great breadth and depth of leadership experiences to my new role as ALA president. As Illinois Library Association president, I had the opportunity to develop my skills in decision-making, while hiring the executive director and working with the legislative committee in selecting lobbyists. While university librarian at Illinois Wesleyan, I oversaw the functional development of its new $24-million library facility. As a board member and then president of Beta Phi Mu, our national honor society, my experiences included development of policy, a committee structure, and passage of the new bylaws.
Years of activism with state, regional, and national library organizations have given me opportunities to exchange views, hone leadership skills, and engage in public discussion. As past president of ALA’s Library Leadership and Management Association and through active engagement in many other units, including ALA’s governing Council, the Reference and User Services Association, the New Members Round Table, and the Association of College and Research Libraries, I have prepared myself for the next step: to communicate ALA’s shared vision and values to the general public and legislators.
Libraries are essential to a democratic society and, together, by Leading from Libraries, we can prove that to be so. I ask for your vote for ALA and ALA–Allied Professional Association president. For more information on my ideas visit suestroyan. com.