American Library Association Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels announced today that he will retire in July 2017.
Fiels has led ALA since 2002, making him one of the longest-serving executive directors in the Association’s history.
Before he came to ALA, Fiels was director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for 10 years. He also served as president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies and staff consultant for the New York and New Jersey State Libraries.
Under Fiels’s leadership, the Association launched several initiatives, including the Office for Library Advocacy and the Center for the Future of Libraries; expanded its publishing division; increased community engagement; and expanded its professional development programs.
In announcing his retirement to ALA staff, Fiels said, “It has been an incredible honor to have served my colleagues, libraries, and the public in this position for going on 15 years, during which we have made significant strides—and weathered a few storms. The staff and membership of ALA are the most amazing group of individuals that anyone could ever ask to work with.”
ALA President Julie B. Todaro and the other officers have been working with Fiels to ensure a smooth transition and expect the selection process for the next executive director to take through next summer. “Over the next couple of weeks, I will be providing everyone with an update on the process by which the Board will work with Council, membership, and staff to select our next executive director. We will keep everyone well informed as we move ahead,” Fiels said.