ALA Election Information

ALA Election Process

*Note that the below information pertains to the ALA elections only.  If you wish to run for a division or round table office please contact the division or round table as their information may be different.


In 2008, the American Library Association began holding its election exclusively online.  The only exception is for members with disabilities and without Internet access.  These individuals may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service. Those without Internet access at home or at work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public (or in many instances, academic or school) libraries. The election site is also accessible on a Smartphone.

2017 Elections

Beginning with the 2017 elections, the voting period will run from the second Monday in March through the first Wednesday in April. The 2017 elections opened on March 13, 2017 and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Results will be announced on April 12. Eligible members were sent their voting credentials via email between March 13-15, 2017. Any individuals whose emails bounce will be sent a “snail-mail” letter with their voting credentials. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing of ALA as well as applicable divisions and round tables as of January 31, 2017. Anyone who reinstated their membership after January 31, 2017 will be ineligible to vote in the 2017 elections. For questions about your membership status, or if you cannot locate your election email, please contact ALA’s Member and Customer Service (MACS) at 1-800-545-2433, press 5 (International members should call +1-312-944-6780) or membership@ala.org.

Your Guide to the 2017 Elections

President-elect Candidates’ web pages:

The candidates participated in a candidates’ forum on Saturday, January 21, at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta.  Video of the forum is available on YouTube.

Council Candidate Biographical Information:

Running for Office

The ALA Nominating Committee nominates candidates from among the general membership for the position of president-elect (annually), for the position of treasurer (every three years), and for members-at-large of Council (annually). Individuals who are not selected by the Nominating Committee may run for office by petition. ALA elections are held in the spring of each year with the results announced in early April.

About the Nominations Process

The Nominating Committee for the 2018 ALA election began its work at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting. Members who wish to make nominations should submit the following information: nominee name; present position; institution; address; telephone; fax; and e-mail address.  Self-nominations are encouraged.   All potential nominees must complete the Potential Candidate Biographical Form which will become available on April 13, 2017.

Petition Candidates & E-Petition Form

Individuals who were not selected by the Nominating Committee may run for office by petition. Members who are interested in running for office by petition may do so by completing a petition form with the signatures of no fewer than 25 ALA current personal members. In addition to the petition itself, members must complete the Petition Candidate Biographical Information Form.  Once the petition process is completed, petition candidates and nominated candidates are treated exactly the same. They are not differentiated on the ballot because they are on equal footing and are all viable candidates for these positions.

Beginning with the 2017 elections, the period for filing petitions runs from the first Wednesday in October through the first Wednesday in December. The petition form for the 2018 election will become available on October 4, 2017.  This form must be filed with the ALA Executive Director no later than December 6, 2017.

Elections FAQ, Guidelines & Detailed Schedule   

Job Descriptions

2016 Election Statistics