Meet the Candidates for ALA President and Treasurer
Four candidates unveil their campaign statements and appeal to ALA members for their vote
Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 21:31
Candidates for ALA President
Libraries will meet important individual and community needs through reimagining. In the face of nationwide economic pressures, we are reinventing our services to become virtual and physical spaces for conversation, personal growth, innovation, and knowledge building. ALA—the oldest, largest library association in the world—is ideally positioned to spearhead this transformation. By transforming libraries, we are transforming our communities.
My strong background in librarianship and my broad experience in ALA make me uniquely positioned to lead the Association at this exciting time of transformation. Throughout my library career, I have dedicated myself to empowering others to succeed, working as a public and a school librarian; an instructor for paraprofessionals; a tenured professor at a university with more than 50,000 students. I have served as an ALA division president; an ALA chapter president; a multiterm ALA councilor, until my grandson developed a terrible brain cancer; and an author, teacher, member of book awards committees, including Caldecott and Newbery, that have had a huge impact on children’s reading. I thrive on developing positive solutions to challenging situations. By using my thoughtful can-do attitude, I have encouraged others to rise to new levels of excellence.
As ALA president, I will continue the strong collective ALA voice. Working with students and professional colleagues, locally, nationally, and internationally, I have learned to empower individuals to be actively engaged and frame their actions with a clear vision and core values. I will continue efforts to make the Association more inclusive by providing ways for all library workers and supporters to get involved and have an impact. With help from membership, we can translate ALA’s strategic plan into effective implementation initiatives. My experience on the Intellectual Freedom Committee and as a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation will help frame our initiatives around ALA core values. I will demand equitable access to information in underserved areas across the country, such as the Texas border where I have taught.
I bring passion, commitment, and experience in building public awareness for strong libraries.
As president I will strengthen the library profession. I was a member of Council at the time ALA–Allied Professional Association was created and the Spectrum Scholarship endowment was substantially increased, and I will continue to fight for higher library salaries and promote certification programs.
I am committed to working with all members, ALA units, and ethnic affiliates to increase the diversity of librarians in practice and within ALA leadership.
My career-long experience in working collaboratively with all types of libraries and my ability to navigate political agendas enable me to lead ALA in negotiating increased public funding for libraries, more library-friendly publishing, increased availability of ebooks, better partnerships, and a stronger legislative agenda.
I will focus on transforming communities through libraries and will promote ALA’s advocacy initiatives by aligning library services with community priorities so that community members speak out for libraries. Together we can transform ALA, our libraries, and our communities.
I ask for your vote.
This will not surprise anyone, but libraries have always been a part of my life. My earliest library memory is of participating in San Antonio Public Library’s summer reading program. I toted home and read bags full of books. That summer I learned that knowledge is power, and from that point on I was never without some form of library card. While the materials I read and the technologies I found there changed over time, libraries have been an anchor in my life. It was as a college sophomore working in the library with my first librarian mentor that my appreciation for libraries blossomed fully into a professional passion.
That passion found its home in the American Library Association. ALA membership has given me opportunities for collaboration and promotion of diversity, and the joy of welcoming library school students to the profession, and has complemented my daily work by giving me access to a world of peerless peers. Through my years of service, I have learned that ALA is not just a club but an organization that demonstrates its real value through relevance to its members and the communities where they live and practice. And now, I am prepared to continue my service as president of the American Library Association by advancing what I believe are the key relevant issues to all of us.
ALA must expand on current strategies to provide resources and services that ensure a workforce that more closely resembles who we are as a society. ALA, along with its divisions, round tables, affiliates, and others, can work collaboratively to increase awareness of the rich resources and services currently available from units across the Association in support of that goal.
ALA should be a leader in providing affordable, timely, and accessible professional development opportunities. ALA should be at the center of a dialogue hub that supports substantive interactions: networking, conversation, collaboration, and learning. Librarians and library workers should be inspired and invigorated as a result of participating in ALA-supported and motivated connections.
Engagement and outreach
ALA, in collaboration with chapters, divisions, and round tables, should develop and deploy resources to help libraries build and sustain relationships with their local partners. Libraries strengthen and empower—ALA helps libraries of all types deliver this message. And, finally, national-level partnerships that shine a spotlight on the Association and give us easily identifiable allies should be expanded.
These key issues reflect not only my experience as a member of ALA but also how ALA provides a shared ethical base from which we all practice. They also demonstrate how ALA exists for members in practical, daily, and relevant ways. An ALA president has only one year to move ahead and promote his or her initiative. I ask you to make this journey with me. In 365 days we can speak out about intellectual freedom, work to promote diversity, learn more about multiple literacies, and practice lifelong learning so that we stay relevant and keep our libraries and profession relevant as well.
I ask for your vote.
Candidates for ALA Treasurer
Clara Nalli Bohrer
I am honored to stand for election as treasurer of the American Library Association. I ask for your support.
As treasurer, I will be committed to sound fiscal practice, accountability, transparency, and collaboration with all units across the Association. I will focus my leadership efforts around ALA’s financial value proposition, which is to develop, maximize, and allocate resources to move our Association forward and be relevant and responsive to our members.
How an association manages its finances reflects its priorities and values. Programmatic priorities shape financial priorities. I will work to maximize resources to support our member-driven strategic plan, ALA 2015, and its programmatic priorities. ALA members and staff are currently working in action areas such as intellectual freedom, equitable access, diversity, transforming libraries, lifelong learning, and literacy to strengthen and improve our nation’s libraries and our profession. It is essential that we grow our financial resources and maximize and align every dollar in support of these priorities and efforts.
The development of our next strategic plan, ALA 2020, will require making informed decisions and perhaps some difficult choices. As we continue to face challenging economic times, we may need to reallocate resources from less strategic activities and programs to those that support the emerging needs of our members and their libraries. As the next strategic plan is developed, it is crucial that we again engage in an open, inclusive, and collaborative process to determine where to invest our energy and financial resources in order to keep our Association responsive, relevant, and effective for our members and our libraries.
As treasurer, I will support continuing efforts to streamline operations and implement efficiencies that contain costs whenever and wherever possible. I will be committed to growing our endowment to further invest in scholarships and strategic projects. I will also support efforts to increase revenue through new business development, particularly online continuing education, electronic publishing, and delivering products and services to global markets, since I strongly believe that ALA has a role in strengthening libraries worldwide.
A contributing member of ALA for 36 years and advocate for libraries, I currently chair ALA’s Budget and Analysis Review Committee. I serve on ALA’s Finance and Audit Committee and PLA’s Budget and Finance Committee. I am director of the West Bloomfield Township (Mich.) Public Library, an independent library with taxing authority, with full responsibility for development, planning, management, and compliance of library finances and financial policies and practices. I am a trustee of the Oakland County (Mich.) Library.
I have been president of PLA and my state library association, a member of PLA and ALSC boards, and chair/president and member of numerous boards, task forces, and committees within ALA, the state of Michigan, and my library’s community. My background and experience will enable me to be an effective treasurer.
I am eager to serve ALA and you as treasurer. I will bring experience and expertise, passion and integrity, and an unwavering dedication to ALA’s core values to the office.
To be chosen as a candidate for treasurer of the American Library Association is a great honor. I am proud of my experience and the confidence others have in my abilities. I am asking for your support.
My whole career has been dedicated to the field of library work in different types of libraries and positions: whether in the research libraries of the New York Public Library to my current position as library director in Passaic, New Jersey, or as children’s librarian, young adult librarian, library coordinator of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and adjunct professor of library science.
Whether working in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, or Texas, managing a small budget of a few thousand dollars at the Rotary Club of Passaic to the $37 million budget of the Clementine Lockwood Peterson Foundation, I have always enjoyed working with finances. I gained invaluable financial knowledge by completing the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School. I welcome the challenges that the fiscal aspect of my work continues to present. My financial abilities make me a natural fit to be treasurer, especially in these uncertain times.
With nearly 30 years of involvement in ALA and other organizations, I have been selected or elected for:
- Six terms on Council
- The Executive Board
- The Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) from 2006 to 2012
- Chair of BARC from 2010 to 2011
- Finance and Audit Committee
- Planning and Budget Assembly
- Facilitator of the Finance 101 seminar
- Facilitator of the divisions’ and round tables’ financial workshops
- The boards of PLA, ASCLA, RUSA, and EMIERT
- Lifetime member of Reforma, CALA, and APALA
- A longtime member of NJLA, BCALA, and Kappa Delta Pi
- Treasurer of my local library board of trustees since 2005
- Treasurer of the Passaic chapter of Rotary International, and am currently president
- Treasurer of PALS Plus, Passaic County’s library consortium, and am currently president
- Treasurer for seven years of Reforma’s northeast chapter after serving as its president
My leadership role in BARC allowed me to review and approve the Association’s finances including responsible reductions while aligning these with the Strategic Plan, as well as the analysis of Council decisions. While on BARC, I reviewed major initiatives such as acquiring Neal-Schuman Publishers, completing the three-year Spectrum Scholarship fundraising campaign that yielded $1.26 million, and introducing the 15x15 ALA Planned Giving Campaign to raise $15 million by 2015. These initiatives are financial foundations for our future, and I will continue to search for new revenue sources.
Although we may face fiscal challenges in the future, my leadership as treasurer will foster a financial environment where ALA can grow and prosper. I will work with integrity, transparency, and honesty with all stakeholders of the Association to ensure that the value of our membership is reflected in the services that ALA provides. I thank you for your trust in me to be your treasurer. I look forward to receiving your vote.