Roberta Stevens inaugurated 2010 ALA president
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO – Today, Roberta Stevens, outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress and National Book Festival project manager, began her term as 2010-2011 president of the American Library Association (ALA).
As ALA president, Stevens is the chief elected officer of the oldest and largest library organization in the world. Established in 1876, the American Library Association has nearly 63,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
“I am honored to be ALA’s president,” said Stevens. “At a time when libraries are encountering a perfect storm of increased usage and decreased support, I will focus on making broadly known the vital services we provide to millions of Americans each day. Libraries are a cornerstone of our democracy and our economy. Key elements of my presidential year will be helping libraries develop additional funding sources and leading advocacy initiatives by the nation’s most popular and beloved authors on our behalf. As president, I will do my utmost to ensure that our libraries -- the envy of the world -- are both prepared for, as well as preparing others for, the challenges of the 21st century.”
As the project manager for the National Book Festival, since it began as an annual event in 2000, Stevens headed the team that built it into the premier book festival in the United States with 130,000 attendees in 2009. Previously, she served as the Library of Congress Bicentennial program manager, which included major projects in partnership with members of Congress, the American Library Association and thousands of individuals across the country. Prior to joining the Library of Congress, she was the director of Technical Operations for the Fairfax County Public Library. She also worked as a school librarian and as head of media services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (at the Rochester Institute of Technology).
Stevens served on the ALA Executive Board as a member of its Finance & Audit Committee and its representative to the Seven Measures of Success Working Group. Previously, she was elected to the ALA Council for two successive terms and served on the Committee on Legislation, chairing its Privacy and Telecommunications subcommittee.
For nearly a decade, Stevens managed the Library of Congress exhibit booth at ALA’s Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings. She organized the All Conference Reception at the 1998 Annual Conference and the program of tours, presentations, workshops and seminars at the Library of Congress for attendees at the 1998 conference and the 1997 Midwinter Meeting in Washington, D.C.
In 2009, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Graduate School of Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Ainsworth Rand Spofford Presidential Award from the District of Columbia Library Association. Stevens recently received the Distinguished Service Award and numerous special achievement and meritorious service awards at the Library of Congress during her 25-year career there.
Stevens received a bachelor’s and a masters of library science (MLS) degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a masters in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She also took courses in the MBA program at George Mason University. She was the first former graduate of the MLS program at Buffalo to be invited as the commencement speaker.
Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., today also began her term as ALA president-elect. She will assume the ALA presidency in June 2011 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.