Merola named Director of ALA Advocacy Office

Contact: Cathleen Bourdon
AED, Communications and Member Relations
(312) 280-3217
cbourdon@ala.org

For Immediate Release,
February 7, 2008

Merola named Director of ALA Advocacy Office

CHICAGO--Marci Merola, interim director of the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Library Advocacy (OLA), has been appointed the office's first full-time director. She assumes her new duties on Feb. 11.

“Marci is a passionate advocate for libraries, and we're pleased that she will be taking on the challenge of helping to develop the resources, networks and training needed by local advocates for libraries of all types,” stated Keith Michael Fiels, ALA executive director. “As the interim director of the new Office for Library Advocacy, Marci has already impressed everyone with her ability to work collaboratively with members and staff on projects like the advocacy institutes and the I love libraries advocacy web site. The new Office for Library Advocacy is off to a great start, and Marci's appointment as its first director will help strengthen all of the association's advocacy efforts.”

The ALA Office for Library Advocacy was established on Sept. 1, 2007 in response to ALA members naming advocacy as one of their top priorities in the ALA Strategic Plan, ALA Ahead to 2010. The Office will focus its activity on providing resources and support to state and local advocacy efforts. Prior to the establishment of the Office, ALA's advocacy activities were coordinated by the Public Information Office.

Merola was hired in 2001 as the public relations specialist for advocacy in ALA's Public Information Office. She has spent a number of years in the publishing industry as an editor for the business/technical press. She has also served as a freelance writer, editor and producer for a commercial photographer.

She has a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from Northern Illinois University. She is currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University, River Forest, Ill.

Merola was instrumental in launching the ALA's Advocacy Institute trainings. She is the editor of Ilovelibraries.org, ALA's Web site for the public, as well as several advocacy publications. She has made numerous presentations at library advocacy workshops held throughout the country.

Members of the Search Committee included Camila Alire, dean emerita, University of New Mexico and Colorado State University, Fort Collins; Carol Brey-Casiano, director, El Paso Public Library; Keith Michael Fiels, ALA executive director; Patricia Tumulty, executive director, New Jersey Library Association; Beth Yoke, executive director, Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of ALA; Cathleen Bourdon, ALA associate executive director, Communications and Member Relations; and Cynthia Vivian, director, ALA Human Resources.