Hildreth, Wong running for 2016-19 ALA treasurer

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/28/2015


JoAnne Kempf

Director, Office of ALA Governance

Office of ALA Governance


CHICAGO – Susan H. Hildreth, executive director of the Califa Group, Pacific Library Partnership, Peninsula Library System and administrator of the NorthNet Library System in San Mateo, California, and Patricia M. (Patty) Wong, county librarian and chief archivist of the Yolo County Library in Woodland, California, are the candidates for treasurer of the American Library Association (ALA) for 2016-2019.

A member of ALA since 1973, Hildreth is past president of the Public Library Association (PLA) and has served as a member of the PLA Board of Directors and an at-large member of the ALA Council. She is a member of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies. She also was active in the LAMA (now the Library Leadership and Management Association or LLAMA) Buildings and Equipment Section and is a long-time member of the California Library Association, which she served as president and treasurer. She was also active in the New Jersey Library Association in the 1970s. 

Hildreth has recently concluded her four-year appointment as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), where she oversaw grant programs and initiatives that have resulted in $857,241,000 in financial support for libraries and museums and increased the visibility of libraries in the federal government and nationally.  Previous positions include Seattle City librarian, California state librarian, city librarian of San Francisco and deputy director of the Sacramento Public Library, where she was responsible for multi-million dollar budgets.

In March 2015, Hildreth was appointed a Communication and Society Program Fellow by the Aspen Institute, where she will provide counsel on issues related to public libraries and will represent the institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries as a speaker at outside events. She is a member of the CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California) Board, representing public libraries. She is also a member of the national Reach Out and Read Board, the Library of Congress American Folklife Center and Literacy Awards Boards, the Syracuse University Library Advisory Board and the San Jose State University School of Information International Advisory Council.  She was a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation Board from 2009-2011.

In 2012, she received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the College of Computing and Information Science at the University at Albany.  In 2014, she was recognized as a California Emerging Technology Fund Champion and as the Small and Rural Library Champion by the Association of Small and Rural Libraries.

“I am honored to be a candidate for this important ALA leadership position,” Hildreth said.  “I have seen first hand the significant impact that ALA creates for our profession and for libraries both nationally and globally.  I hope that I can contribute to the successful continuation and further strengthening of this work by providing fiscal guidance and strategic thinking at a critical time in the life of the organization.”

Hildreth holds a BA from Syracuse University, an MLS from the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany and an MBA from Rutgers University.

Patty Wong has been an ALA member since 1984.  Since then she has served several terms on ALA Council both as an at-large councilor and California Chapter councilor and served on the ALA Executive Board from 2001-2004.  She served as chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) and has held numerous committee positions, including co-chairing four ALA presidential initiatives.

Wong served on many committees for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the Public Library Association (PLA) and LLAMA and participated on many awards and scholarship committees, including Spectrum. 

In addition to her ALA committee service, Wong has held positions with the California Library Association and has served as treasurer of the California County Librarians Association and the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY).  She has also served as the president of the California Chapter of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) and president of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). She is a life member of REFORMA and BCALA and a contributing member of EMIERT and GLBTRT.

Wong is an adjunct faculty member of the San Jose State University School of Information and was recognized as Instructor of the Year in 2013.  She received the ALA’s Equality Award in 2012, was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2009 and has received numerous other awards and recognitions.

Throughout her career, Wong has managed multi-million-dollar grant programs and oversaw three library building construction projects in three years, totaling more than $21 million.

Upon accepting the nomination, Wong had this to say: “What’s my vision for a healthy ALA? A financially sound, progressive and responsive organization that engages our members, builds community, forges partnerships that further our mission, and advocates for the value of libraries and library workers.  I bring a commitment to working as a team, fiduciary stewardship, transparency, and honest and effective communication to ensure growth and prosperity so together we can achieve those goals.  I ask for your voice and your vote.”

Wong holds both a BA in Women’s Studies and an MLIS from the University of California Berkeley. 

Hildreth and Wong will engage in a candidates’ forum from 4:30 - 5:30 pm on Saturday, Jan. 9, during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston.  The candidates will each have an opportunity to make a statement and will answer questions from the audience.

Ballot mailing for the 2016 ALA election will begin on March 15, 2016 and will run through April 22, 2016.  Individuals must be members in good standing as of Jan. 31, 2016 in order to vote in the ALA election.