Meet the Candidates for ALA President: Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada

Three candidates appeal to ALA members for their vote

March 1, 2021

Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada

Now is the time for us to lead together for change. Over the past few years, I have listened in convention centers and on conference calls to thousands of members sharing ideas on how we can strengthen ALA for the future. These conversations—and the possibilities ALA and its members hold—inspired me to run for ALA president in the middle of a worldwide crisis.

As your president, I will lead with the Association’s core values, centering equity, strengthening advocacy, and promoting organizational excellence through connection and collaboration. I have and will continue to seek out, listen to, and act on the varied perspectives and experiences of our members to move ALA forward.

As a 14-year member, past ALA Executive Board member, and chair of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness, I believe in our future. By leading together for change, ALA can live up to its full potential and be the Association we need it to be today.

I will lead together with our members for an Association and a profession that:

  • are inclusive, racially equitable, and antiracist. I have been proud to help lead ALA’s commitment to diversity, including as chair of the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services Advisory Committee and as a leader in the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. In our associations and in my own library, I have made real change, supported library workers of color, worked with allies, and broken down barriers.
  • model organizational excellence and sustainability. Declining membership and fiscal shortfalls demonstrate the need for new revenue streams and membership models. I will continue the work to pivot ALA, leveraging the expertise and views of member leaders and working closely with staff to restore trust and be more transparent.
  • commit to our core values through partnerships that amplify our ideals. Collaborations can help us leverage our strengths in areas like intellectual freedom and supporting library workers alongside organizations like the Freedom to Read Foundation and through shared governance with the ALA–Allied ­Professional Association.

ALA’s strong advocacy base is essential to our future. The work of members and staff to position the Association at the forefront of the fight to provide broadband access and uphold democracy has allowed us room to reimagine our Association—as one that will support library workers facing challenges nationwide and give them a place to explore the profession, develop skills, and connect with other passionate members.

I am committed to listening to our members and nonmembers and will continually evaluate priorities, efforts, and initiatives. Our members seek an association that is responsive to their needs; as your next president, I will be responsive to our members.

By celebrating our successes, we can lead together for change. I am passionate about libraries, I am passionate about our Association, and I am honored to be a candidate for ALA president. I encourage you to make your voice heard as I ask for your vote and support—not just in this election, but in our Association every day.


Ed Garcia

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Stacey A. Aldrich

Meet the Candidates for ALA President: Stacey A. Aldrich

Three candidates appeal to ALA members for their vote