American Library Association gears up for 2018 ALA election

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/27/2018


JoAnne Kempf


Office of ALA Governance

CHICAGO – The American Library Association is gearing up for its upcoming election. Polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 12, 2018 for the Association’s annual election and will close on Wednesday, April 4 at 11:59 a.m. Central time.

The American Library Association elections take place exclusively online. On February 22, members began receiving notification by email confirming their eligibility to vote. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing as of January 31, 2018.

When the polls open, the ALA will notify voters by e-mail, providing them with information about how to vote online. E-mails will be sent over a three-day period, March 12 – 14.

On April 11, the Election Committee will meet at the ALA offices to certify the election. Election results will be released following that meeting.

Although the election is being conducted online, there remains one exception. Members with disabilities and without Internet access may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. Those without Internet access at home or work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library.

This year members are asked to vote for the next ALA president-elect and for 33 Councilor-at-Large candidates to serve a three-year term (2018-2021) as well as two Councilor-at-Large candidates to serve a two-year term (2018-2020).

Members are also being asked to vote on two measures:

· Proposed Dues Adjustments (PDF)

· ALA Executive Director Degree Requirement (PDF)

“Voting is one of the most important things you do as a member of the American Library Association,” said ALA Executive Director Mary W. Ghikas. “The officers you elect will make a real difference. The president serves as the public voice of the Association, libraries of all types and all across the nation, and of American libraries around the world. The 186 Councilors – including 35 being elected this year – are responsible for setting the broad policies that shape our Association’s public positions and direction.”


Wanda Brown, Director of Library Services at the C.G. O’Kelly Library, Winston-Salem State University, Winston Salem, North Carolina, and Peter Hepburn, Head Librarian, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California, are the candidates for the 2019-20 presidency of the American Library Association.


Brown has been an ALA member for 30 years and is an active member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association for Libraries Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). She has held multiple leadership positions within each division

Brown has held numerous positions with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) including her current service as treasurer (2016-2018) and service as president (2014-16), treasurer (1992-96) and two terms as an Executive Board member (2001-03, 2014-16). She was the 2011-13 president of the North Carolina Library Association and has held various other positions with NCLA, including treasurer (1991-98) and he 2005-09 chair of the Finance Committee.

She is the 2015 recipient of the DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence, the 2013 BCALA Leadership Award, and the 2012 BCALA Distinguished Service Award. In 2009, she received University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement, and in 2013, UNCG awarded Brown with the School of Education Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.

“It is truly an honor to be nominated as a candidate for the office of President of the American Library Association,” said Brown. I am encouraged by the work of our library professionals; how we continue to influence daily the lives of others; how we impact the communities we live in and aid in shaping all our futures.  Together we have made a difference and together we can do even more. For it is now more than ever that we as information specialists are needed to be examples, standing up for what we know to be the right.”

Brown holds a BA in English, with a minor in psychology from Winston-Salem State University, and an MLS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


An ALA member for 17 years, Hepburn just completed a term on the ALA Executive Board (2014-17) and has served on the ALA Council from 2010 – present. He has served on numerous ALA Committees and task forces, including the Budget, Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), Committee on Membership Meetings, Committee on Committees, Conference Committee, and Election Committee. He just finished serving as chair of the Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation and served on the Task Force on Electronic Member Participation.

Hepburn has also held various leadership positions within the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT), and the New Members Round Table.

He has been a frequent presenter at state, regional, national and international conferences where he has spoken on digital projects, collaboration in libraries, and accreditation.

Hepburn is an active member of four ALA divisions – American Association of School Librarians (AASL), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Library Information & Technology Association (LITA), and the Public Library Association (PLA).  He is also a member of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), the Retired Members Round Table (RMRT), New Members Round Table (NMRT), Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT), Intellectual Freedom Round Table (NMRT), Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT), and the Federal and Armed Forced Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT).

“Libraries remain a valuable, much-needed contributor to our communities and institutions at a time when there is much turmoil in the country,” said Hepburn. “ALA itself is undergoing a period of transition.  My life in libraries has included academic and public libraries, and my involvement within ALA is both broad-ranging and deep.  My experiences and knowledge will serve our members well.  It is an honor to be nominated.  I look forward to working with you and on behalf of our library users as your ALA president.”

Hepburn holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in French from the University of Victoria (British Columbia) and an MLIS from McGill University, Montreal.


Watch excerpts of the Presidential Candidates’ Forum that took place at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting.


Biographical information about the Councilor-at-Large candidates can be found on the ALA website.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the election, call (800) 545-2433, ext. 5, or e-mail