Libraries are not just where we work; they are sentinels of our democracy, where lives are affected and our country’s ideals are upheld. I am reminded of this every day as I traverse the entrance of the Library of Congress’s James Madison Memorial Building, where this inspiring quote is inscribed: Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own governours, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
It is an exciting time to be a member of the American Library Association (ALA). ALA can and will play an important role at this critical juncture in the history of our profession and our country, and it must stand united to speak with one voice: to advocate for the education of an informed citizenry; to promote freedom of expression and privacy; to fight the constant threat of reduced funding for library programs; to support information policies that seek to unite our country, rather than policies that divide, such as the repeal of net neutrality.
As ALA president, my focus will be to build the Association’s brand. What is that brand? It is the 57,866 committed members—librarians and library workers—who are and need to be recognized as technologically savvy, inclusive, innovative, passionate, and diverse. Building that brand means strengthening relationships within our complex organizational structure.
As president, I will address internal and external concerns that face ALA, focusing on supporting our strategic directions by advocating for policies that reflect our core values.
I will strive to:
- help increase funding by building on the grassroots approach
- strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion in our Association and in the libraries where we work
- defend and protect privacy and intellectual freedom
- champion the careers of library workers by providing professional development and leadership opportunities, using a communities of practice model
- build a culture of inclusion by strengthening relationships with divisions, round tables, affiliates, and member initiative groups
- build and strengthen relationships with our chapters
- lead our Association through the on-boarding of a new executive director
- lead ALA in our conversation about better governance, ensuring all voices are heard
- provide fiscal guidance as we seek to ensure concrete benefits to members
- recruit the next generation by introducing K–12 students to a career in librarianship
My commitment to libraries and my ability to serve and lead ALA members is reflected in my active participation within our Association. I have served on the ALA Executive Board, chaired ALA committees,
served and led affiliate organizations, and served at the local level. I currently serve on ALA Council.
I stand prepared to serve the members of ALA, providing leadership for a modern library association.
I ask for your vote for ALA president.