Raphael elected ALA president for 2011-2012; Neal elected ALA treasurer 2010-2013

Contact: Steve Zalusky
Manager of Communications,
ALA Public Information Office
(312) 280-1546

For Immediate Release,
April 30, 2010

CHICAGO – Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., has been elected president-elect of the American Library Association, defeating Sara Kelly Johns, school library media specialist for grades 6-12 at Lake Placid (N.Y.) Middle/High School.

James Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, was elected treasurer, defeating Alan Kornblau, director of the Delray Beach (Fla.) Public Library.

Raphael received 5,857 votes. Johns received 4,399 votes. Neal received 6,891 votes. Kornblau received 2,756 votes.

As ALA president, Raphael will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library organization in the world. The ALA has a membership of more than 62,000 librarians, library trustees and library supporters. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

Raphael will become president-elect in June 2010, and will assume the ALA presidency in June 2011, following the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, La.
She will serve a one-year term as president and a one-year term as Immediate Past President.

“I am honored to be elected president of the American Library Association (ALA) for the year 2011-2012,” Raphael said. “Libraries are truly essential for learning and essential for life. Today, libraries face serious economic, political, social, and technological challenges.  ALA is the only organization that speaks for all libraries; therefore, I call on all those who work in, use, and support libraries to join together to ensure that the critical roles of libraries in our society are sustained.” 

Johns congratulated Raphael on her victory, saying, “It was exciting to see the energy, enthusiasm and expertise of the librarians and library workers in our field during the campaign. I am confident that Molly will use the depth of her experience with ALA to ably lead the implementation of the new strategic plan forward to meet the challenges we are facing in our profession.”

Raphael recently retired after six years as director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., which serves a population of more than 700,000 with a budget of $60 million and more than 500 employees. During her tenure, she passed a five-year, voter-approved operating levy (more than $176 million for 5 years); implemented many new programs and services; worked with The Library Foundation of Multnomah County to raise more than $12 million. Under her leadership, MCL achieved consistently top rankings among urban public libraries and the highest gross circulation of any library in the country for four consecutive years.

She previously served as director of the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) from 1997-2003, after holding various positions at DCPL, beginning in 1970 as an assistant children’s librarian. During her DCPL tenure, Raphael launched the first public library service in the nation to serve the deaf community in 1975.

While at DCPL, she established and co-chaired the Labor Management Partnership Council; introduced an Enhanced Business Information Center; launched outreach efforts to address early literacy needs for children at-risk and literacy programs for adult new readers; built partnerships with the K-12 schools, academic institutions and many nonprofits; and hosted many visiting foreign diplomats and senior US government officials.

Raphael has served in a number of capacities with ALA as early as 1976, when she was co-founder and first chair of the ALA committee and then the ASCLA Section on Library Service to the Deaf. She was president of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) in 2008-09, served on the ALA Executive Board from 2000-03 and has served three terms as ALA Councilor at Large (2003-06, 1998-2002, 1985-89).

She has also been a member and chair of the ALA’s Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), Committee on Professional Ethics, Nominating Committee (serving as chair, in 1998-99), Equality Award Jury, Intellectual Freedom Committee and Coordinating Committee on Access to Information. In addition, she has been a member of various committees in PLA, LLAMA, ASCLA, and RUSA.

Raphael was president of the District of Columbia Library Association in 1987-88. She has chaired the National Library Legislative Day Committee, was D.C. vice chair for the Martin Luther King Holiday Commission and served on the Freedom to Read Foundation Board of Directors. She has also belonged to the Urban Libraries Council, the OCLC Public Library Advisory Committee, the Friends of the Oberlin College Library and FOLUSA.

Her honors include the Arthur Flemming Civil Rights Award for efforts to increase diversity in library employment, collections and programming at Multnomah County Library. She has also received the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Alumni Achievement Award, several District of Columbia Labor Management Partnership Council Awards and an Honorary Life Membership in the District of Columbia Library Association.

Neal will become ALA treasurer in June 2010 following the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. and will serve in this capacity through June, 2013.

"It is a deep honor to be elected by the members of ALA to serve as treasurer over the next three years, and to have the opportunity to work with member leaders and outstanding staff to advance our professional aspirations and impact," Neal said. "ALA provides its members with the hope, the power and the action to make a difference, and sound budgetary policies and fiscal practices will be critical to our success working with and for each other."

"Congratulations and best wishes to Jim Neal. He will be an excellent ALA treasurer,” Kornblau said.

Neal is currently the vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, a system of 22 libraries. His responsibilities include the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, the Copyright Advisory Office and the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research.

Previously, he has served as the dean of university libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University and held administrative positions in the libraries at Penn State, Notre Dame, and the City University of New York.

Neal has served on the Council and Executive Board of the American Library Association and is currently chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC); on the Board and as president of the Association of Research Libraries; on the Board and as chair of the Research Libraries Group (RLG), and chair of the RLG Program Committee of the OCLC Board.

He has served on the Scholarly Communication committees of ARL and ACRL and as Chair of the Steering Committee of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and currently on the Board of the Columbia University Press. He was an advisor to the U.S. delegation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference on copyright. He was selected the 1997 Academic Librarian of the Year by the Association of College and Research Libraries and was the 2007 recipient of ALA’s Hugh Atkinson Memorial Award and the 2009 ALA Melvil Dewey Medal Award.

For complete election results, please visit:   http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/governance/alaelection/index.cfm