In an October 26 statement, the American Library Association (ALA) announced three candidates running for president for the 2022–2023 term. The full statement reads as follows:
“Stacey A. Aldrich, state librarian, Hawaii State Public Library System, Honolulu; Ed Garcia, director, Cranston (R.I.) Public Library; and Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, adult services assistant manager, Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, are candidates for the 2022–2023 presidency of the American Library Association (ALA).
Aldrich currently serves on the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory Group (2019–2021) and ALA President-Elect Patty Wong’s presidential advisory committee (2020–2022). She is a member of the Public Library Association (PLA), the Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA), and has held an ALA membership for more than 20 years.
She has served in several leadership roles, including director, Hawaii Library Association (2017); deputy secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education, State Library of Pennsylvania (2012–2015); state librarian, California State Library (2009–2012); and board member, Association of Professional Futurists (2007–2010). Aldrich is a past president of ASGCLA (2013–2014).
‘Aloha! I am honored to be on the ballot with such amazing librarians this year,’ said Aldrich. ‘I became a librarian because I believe that libraries are the keepers of our collective stories and places of opportunity and hope in the communities we serve. We are dedicated to the success of each person who walks through our physical or virtual doors.
‘The American Library Association is our special place. It is where our profession comes together to build relationships, learn, advocate, and create the future. I would consider it an extreme privilege to represent our intelligent, passionate, and dedicated profession and work with our community to build a future that will nourish and support our members, libraries, and the places we call home. Mahalo for your consideration!’
Aldrich holds an MLS and a BA in Russian language and literature from the University of Pittsburgh.
Garcia is a current member of the ALA Executive Board (2018–2021). An ALA member since 2006, he is a founding member of the 1876 Club at the ALA Legacy Society. Garcia is serving his third term on ALA Council as an ALA councilor-at-large (2011–2020). He is currently serving on the ALA Philanthropy Advisory Group (2019–2021) and the Forward Together Working Group. He is a member of the 2010 class of ALA Emerging Leaders.
He is an active member of Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, the Public Library Asociation, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), Games and Gaming Round Table (GameRT), Rainbow Round Table (RRT), Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table (GNCRT), Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), and the Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT). He is also a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), and Reforma: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.
Garcia has served on numerous committees within ALA, including the Finance and Audit Committee (2018–2021), Committee on Committees (2015–2016), Committee on Diversity (2014–2016), and Emerging Leaders Interest Group Steering Committee (2011–2013). Garcia also served on several selection juries, including the Paul Howard Award for Courage Jury (2016), Spectrum Scholarship selection jury (2013 and 2014), and Emerging Leaders selection jury (2011).
As an active member of RUSA (2006–present), Garcia has served in several leadership roles, including as a director-at-large on the RUSA board of directors (2015–2018); cochair, RUSA Name Change Task Force (2016–2017); chair, RSS Public Relations and Marketing Committee (2010–2011); and as a member of the RSS Public Relations and Marketing Committee (2007–2010).
‘I am honored to stand for election at this pivotal point in time for ALA,’ said Garcia. ‘Now more than ever, with the continued threats to federal funding for libraries and increased strain on local budgets due to COVID-19, our advocacy efforts need to be foremost in our work. We should not only advocate for libraries as institutions but advocate for library workers as well. As libraries reopen, library workers’ safety, job security, and mental wellness should be at the top of our advocacy efforts.
‘Our Association is facing challenges that need strong leadership and a collaborative spirit to overcome. Together we can address these challenges and use them as an opportunity to create a more inclusive, responsive, resilient, and sustainable ALA.’
At the local level, Garcia is current chair of the Rhode Island Library Association’s Legislative Action Committee (2016–present); a member of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS) advisory board (2012–present); and has served on the Library Board of Rhode Island for 10 years (2008–2018). He also serves on US Rep. Jim Langevin’s (D–R.I.) Education Advisory Committee.
Garcia earned a BA in history, an MLIS, and an Information Literacy Instruction Certificate from the University of Rhode Island. He was awarded a Prism Plus diversity fellowship at URI and earned a Certificate of Completion for Creating Collaborative Solutions from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Pelayo-Lozada recently completed a term as an ALA Executive Board member (2017–2020) and is currently a councilor-at-large (2012–2015, 2015–2018, 2020–2023). She is an active member of the 1876 Club, Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), Core, the Public Library Association, Rainbow Round Table, Social Responsibilities Round Table, and SustainRT. She also is a member of several ALA professional affiliates, including the Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), BCALA, Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), American Indian Library Association, and Reforma. She has held an ALA membership for more than 13 years.
Pelayo-Lozada has served and continues to serve on various ALA committees at both the ALA and division level, including the Constitution and Bylaws Committee (2020–2022); Budget Analysis and Review Committee (2019–2020); Development Office Task Force (2017–2018); APALA representative, Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS) Advisory Committee (2016–2018); Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group (2016–2018); Committee on Diversity (2012–2016); Spectrum Advisory Committee (2013–2015); elected Council representative, Planning and Budget Assembly (2016–2018); ALSC Membership Committee (2014–2016); liaison with National Organizations Serving Children and Youth Committee (2012–2014); and the Library Leadership and Management Association New Professionals Section web team (2014).
Additional leadership roles include chair, Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (2018–2020) and chair, ODLOS Advisory Committee (2016-2017). Pelayo-Lozada currently serves as APALA executive director (2019–2022) and is a past president of APALA (2016–2017). She is chair of the Palos Verdes (Calif.) Library District’s BUILD Team, focusing on diversity and racial equity; and a Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL) board member (2012–present). She is also a 2011 ALA Emerging Leader.
‘As we face new challenges in libraries and answer the call for a transformative Association and inclusive society, I am honored to stand as a candidate for ALA president,’ said Pelayo-Lozada. ‘As an experienced Association leader and library worker, more than ever, I see the need for strong leadership from passionate members who understand the current complexities and pressures of serving our communities.
‘I see our Association as one that seeks out, listens to, and acts on the varied perspectives and experiences of our members and staff to ensure a fiscally stable and racially equitable association. ALA will be an example of organizational excellence and sustainability and will continue to strengthen our advocacy as champions for our libraries, our workers, and our communities. As your president, we can and will make ALA stronger together.’
Pelayo-Lozada holds an MLIS and a BA in sociology from University of California at Los Angeles and an associate of arts degree in philosophy from El Camino College, Torrance, California.
Aldrich, Garcia, and Pelayo-Lozada will engage in a candidates’ forum at 1 p.m. Central time on Saturday, January 23, during the 2021 Virtual ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The candidates will each have an opportunity to make a statement and will answer questions from viewers.”
Ballot mailing for the ALA election will begin March 8, 2021, and end April 7, 2021. Individuals must be members in good standing to vote for the 2022–2023 ALA candidates.