When you ask children what they want to be when they grow up, you’re likely to hear “fireman” or “superhero.” But my dream from the beginning was to become a librarian. I’ve never worked anywhere but in a library. And throughout my 45-year career, I have held almost every position available in a library: page, circulation assistant, children’s librarian, reference librarian, and director. Libraries are part of who I am.
America’s libraries are continually challenged with underfunded budgets, emerging technologies, threats to patron privacy, and expanding responsibilities and demands on library professionals. It is imperative that the American Library Association (ALA) inspire, empower, and support librarians so the profession can continue to lead in our democratic society.
Our libraries are not obsolete. They are not just nice to have. They are essential. You know that and I know that, and together we will aggressively advocate this message to policymakers, stakeholders, funders, and the users who need us.
As ALA president, I will champion the cause of libraries. I want to see “ALA in the Lead,” working for libraries nationally and internationally, developing and influencing information policy, creating partnerships to enhance resources for libraries, and developing leaders for the future.
My pledge is to work in an open, inclusive, and collaborative manner to advance the Association’s strategic directions so it can lead the way in areas that impact all libraries, including:
- integrate advocacy into the daily work of every librarian, trustee, and vendor partner
- develop strategies that advance the public’s understanding of the value and impact libraries of all types have on the communities they serve
- build effective coalitions to address information policy issues
- advocate for copyright policy that promotes user rights and access to information, specifically the digital first-sale doctrine
- develop networks of experts and innovative thinkers to help address emerging issues libraries face
Professional and leadership development
- focus on recruitment that increases diversity across the profession
- provide high-quality professional development opportunities for librarians, library workers, and trustees
During my 45 years as an ALA member, I have served as president of the Public Library Association and as president of United for Libraries. I have served on ALA Council for 12 years and have had leadership roles on numerous committees and task forces within ALA, its divisions, and offices.
I understand the value that librarians, library employees, trustees, and libraries contribute to society. Our profession and the resources we collect, manage, and make available to the communities we serve are essential in the Information Age. Libraries and library professionals are important gateways and guides to myriad resources. Our potential to help people—from the most humble to the most powerful—is limitless.
As your president I will represent the Association in all forums. My extensive experience and leadership at the local, national, and international levels will allow me to effectively serve as the voice of the Association on a full spectrum of issues. ALA is fortunate to have an active and committed membership. As president, I would listen to, value, and work with the diverse expertise, vision, and energy of our membership to put “ALA in the Lead.” I ask for your vote for president of the American Library Association. Thank you.
Read statements from the other two candidates for president: