11 Questions: Julie Reese

Meet the new Core executive director

November 20, 2023

Julie Reese

Julie Reese was promoted to executive director of ALA’s Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures division in May. Reese is a familiar face at ALA; she joined the staff 22 years ago, producing continuing education programs for the Library Leadership and Management Association and Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. In 2020, those divisions merged into what is now known as Core. Reese served as Core’s interim executive director from September 2022 until her promotion.

She answered our 11 Questions to introduce herself to ALA members.

Coffee, tea, other?

I enjoy having a cup of hot coffee with my ham and cheese omelet that I make each morning.

What’s the first website or app you check in the morning?

I check my family’s text messages. I usually find texts that my college-aged daughters have sent overnight. I’ve also started using the BetterMe app, which motivates me to work out and become a stronger version of me.

Best career advice you’ve ever received?

The only constant in your career is change—learn to embrace it.

What drew you to librarianship and ALA?

As an association professional, I was drawn to ALA because it provided me with the opportunity for growth and advancement. I have stayed for as long as I have (more than 20 years—oh, my!) because I love working with our members and I love libraries.

Some of my fondest memories are going to my local library with my daughters when they were young and spending hours looking through children’s books, picking ones to take home for the week. We would walk out with two bags full of books, and the girls couldn’t wait to read them together.

Most distinctive aspect of your personal office?

At my home office, my dog Rocky is always sleeping near me, patiently waiting for the end of the day to go on a long walk. At my work office, I have a framed David Bowie READ poster hanging on the wall that I love.

Guilty pleasure?

Social media, but don’t tell anyone! That, and sports. I love to play sports.

First job?

Babysitting and taking phone orders at a local Italian restaurant.

What do you hope to bring to ALA and members?

I am excited to help our members and leaders strengthen Core, ALA’s newest division, and help others become aware of the great opportunities our division offers. One example of this is Core Forum. We just held our second annual Core Forum in New Orleans last month, and we received outstanding feedback from attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. It was such a rewarding experience being part of planning and implementing such a well-received event. I am excited for the future of Core.

If you had to choose any other profession, what would it be and why?

If I could be great at it, I would be a professional singer. I love live music, and it must be so much fun to have the energy of the crowd cheering you on.

Book(s) you’re reading?

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin.

Tool used for keeping your life organized?

I use Outlook Calendar to keep track of important appointments and deadlines for work and my personal life. I find the reminder alerts to be invaluable.


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