Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County (Oregon) Library and the District of Columbia Public Library, was inaugurated as ALA president at the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans.
“Libraries are so essential for learning and for life,” Raphael said. “ALA is the only organization that speaks for all types of libraries, and we can all benefit from working together to serve our communities. Libraries will not just survive but will thrive when those who use and value libraries join with those who work in libraries to sustain the critical roles of libraries in our society.”
Raphael’s initiatives concentrate on two ALA priority areas: advocacy and diversity. “Why Libraries Matter: Empowering Community Voices” will focus on how librarians can engage their communities to speak out more effectively for libraries of all types—not just during times of crisis but throughout the years.
The diversity initiative will build on the effort to significantly increase funding for the Spectrum Scholarship; it will also promote inclusiveness in library leadership development efforts to help make sure that the library leaders of today and tomorrow are as diverse as the communities they serve. Strategies included linking diversity efforts to ALA leadership development programs; pursuing diversity, inclusiveness, and leadership development by building on each other’s work through collaborative efforts across many ALA constituencies and units; and including the populations libraries serve in formulating and implementing plans.
In addition, Raphael pledged to continue to defend vigorously intellectual freedom, the right to privacy, and open access to information.
“We must continue to be vigilant and watchful, for those who wish to restrict access to information remain unrelenting in their quest,” she said on her website. “People across this country and, indeed, around the world have witnessed the impact of ALA’s leadership in protecting intellectual freedom, privacy, and open access to information. We must continue to build coalitions with those individuals and institutions, both in the United States and globally, that believe in the fundamental right and value of the free flow of ideas and an individual’s right to privacy.”
Maureen Sullivan, an organization development consultant from Baltimore, was named ALA president-elect in the 2011 election. Sullivan will serve as president-elect for the 2011–2012 term and will be inaugurated as president at the 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Sullivan said she looks forward to working with ALA members who will help ALA lead the 21st-century information revolution.
Three new ALA Executive Board members were elected by the ALA Council in a vote taken at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting, held January 7–11 in San Diego: Dora Ho, young adult librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library; Michael Porter, president of Library Renewal in Seattle; and Sylvia Norton, a state-level coordinator for school libraries in Maine. They will each serve three-year terms beginning in July 2011 and concluding in June 2014.