ALA President Jim Neal announces new Steering Committee to examine tomorrow’s ALA

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/19/2018


Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Communications and Marketing Office

CHICAGO – American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Neal has announced the formation of the ALA Organizational Effectiveness/Governance Review: Steering Committee, a broadly-representative committee that will work to align ALA’s organizational structure, policies and rules with the association’s 21st century values, key action areas and strategic directions.

“As we proceed together through this process of discovery and reimagination, there will be many choices to make,” Neal said.  “We will be presented with alternative paths, organizational values that are sometimes in conflict, competing visions of an ideal ALA.  Helping us navigate that decision landscape is the essential work of the Steering Committee.”

ALA Executive Board Member Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada (Palos Verdes Library District) will chair the committee and will include the following members:

  • Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid-Hudson Library System, NY), Sustainability Task Force Co-Chair
  • Emannuel Faulkner, Sr.  (Baltimore County Public Schools), Maryland Association of School Librarians President
  • Kenny Garcia (California State University, Monterey Bay), REFORMA Secretary
  • Mandi Goodsett (Cleveland State College), New Members Round Table president
  • Terri Grief (McCracken County High School), ALA Councilor-at-Large
  • Alexia Hudson-Ward (Oberlin College), Member-at-Large
  • Ben Hunter (University of Idaho), Idaho Chapter Councilor
  • Steve Laird (Infogroup), United for Libraries President
  • Jack Martin (Providence Public Library), Rhode Island Chapter Councilor
  • Alanna Aiko Moore (University of California San Diego), Spectrum Scholarship Program
  • Lucinda Nord (Indiana Library Federation), ILF Executive Director
  • Andrew Pace (OCLC), ALA Executive Board Member
  • Juan Rivera (A. Phillip Randolph Campus High School), ALA Emerging Leaders
  • Karen Schneider (Sonoma State University), ALA Councilor-at-Large
  • Felton Thomas (Cleveland Public Library), Public Library Association Immediate Past President
  • Kerry Ward (ALA/Library Leadership & Management Association), LLAMA Executive Director
  • Nora Wiltse (Chicago Public Schools), Member-at-Large
  • Steven D. Yates (University of Alabama), American Association of School Librarians President
  • Shali Zhang (University of Montana), ALA Committee on Organization Member

The committee will work collaboratively with an Executive Team including 2017-2018 ALA President Jim Neal, ALA Executive Director Mary Ghikas, Steering Committee Chair Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada and a forthcoming external consultant.   

During the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, there will be several opportunities for members to explore tomorrow’s ALA through discussion of four questions:

  • What do you think is the most important thing to do to improve ALA’s effectiveness?
  • What are your thoughts about a possible shift from a structure based on standing committees to one that would largely be based upon as-needed groups, with a core of standing committees?
  • What if ALA had a much stronger relationship with State Chapters/State Associations – one that would be supported by an effective structure?
  • What do you think about the possibility of a different governance structure, one in which there might be a different Executive Board/Council composition/structure/relationship?

ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition will offer members the opportunity to participate in several open small-group discussions regarding ALA’s tomorrow on:

  • Saturday, June 23, Morial Convention Center (MCC) 352, 9:00-10:00am
    - Facilitator: Maureen Sullivan
  • Saturday, June 23, MCC 352, 10:30-11:30am
    - Facilitator: Maureen Sullivan
  • Monday, June 25, MCC 352, 1:00-2:00pm
    - Facilitator: Nancy Kranich
  • Monday, June 25, MCC 2:30-3:30pm
    - Facilitator: Nancy Kranich

In addition, discussions are on the agenda for two ALA governance groups including :

  • ALA Council:  Council I, Sunday, 8:30am (discussion at approximately 9:30am), MCC La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom C.  This discussion will be open to all Councilors and others present in the room.
    - Facilitators:  Maureen Sullivan, Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, Patty Wong, Andrew Pace
  • ALA Planning & Budget Assembly, Sunday, 1:00-2:30pm, MCC205.
    - Facilitator: Andrew Pace

The formation of the committee is in response to discussions that took place during the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver where the ALA Executive Board called upon ALA stakeholders to consider a series of “Guiding Principles” and an 18-month timeline for the work ahead. (2017-2018 ALA CD #35.1)  

“Thank you to members of the newly-appointed Steering Committee for committing their time, attention and varied perspectives to this important work on behalf of their Association,” Neal said.  “Thank you also to members of the working group of the ALA Executive Board -- Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, Patty Wong and Andrew Pace – for bringing us to this point, and to Maureen Sullivan and Nancy Kranich for bringing their facilitation expertise and experience to advance the discussion.”

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit