Author Archive: Mary Ghikas

Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Listening to Your Community

November 1, 2019

At the event, R. David Lankes, now director of University of South Carolina’s iSchool, facilitated discussions on the topic. Participants from all types of libraries were asked to take an imaginary walk around their community: observing, listening, seeking to understand the aspirations of the community for itself. During the discussion that followed, participants talked about how … Continue reading Listening to Your Community


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Future Destinations

September 3, 2019

As in our personal lives, a new year is a time for reflection. We look back at the surprises, successes, and disappointments. We look at how we performed inside the Association—and, even more important, at our impact on libraries, on the people who make both the Association and libraries work, and on all the communities … Continue reading Future Destinations


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

At the Core of Our Work

June 3, 2019

In the most basic terms, an association is simply a voluntary organization of persons with common interests and ends, joining formally to achieve things they could not achieve—or could not achieve as well—alone. It’s an observation made in the early 1800s in Democracy in America by French historian Alexis de Tocqueville as he witnessed Americans … Continue reading At the Core of Our Work


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Challenge, Change, Opportunity

November 1, 2018

Over the coming months, our Association will be engaged in difficult but essential work. The task will require that we work together in good faith, trusting one another’s commitment to the important job of library workers and the power of libraries to transform individuals and communities of all types. The American Library Association (ALA) was … Continue reading Challenge, Change, Opportunity


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Modernizing Our Association

June 1, 2018

In the November/December issue of American Libraries, ALA President Jim Neal issued a call to ALA members to consider the 21st-century effectiveness and agility of an organization with governance documents dating back more than 140 years. He called for a review of ALA’s organizational effectiveness with the aim of revitalizing the Association. At the 2018 … Continue reading Modernizing Our Association