Anita Mechler named YALSA executive director

For Immediate Release
Mon, 07/23/2018


Dan Hoppe

Associate Executive Director

Human Resources

(312) 280-5063

CHICAGO — ALA is pleased to welcome Anita Mechler, the new executive director of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. 

Most recently, Mechler has been the project manager/archivist at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) at the University of Chicago Library.  In that role, she has designed, developed, managed, measured, and evaluated BMRC grant-funded programs and carried out the strategic plans and policies established by the BMRC Board of Directors.  She managed the organization in the absence of an executive director during a time of transition. While at BMRC, she created and managed the Summer Short-term Fellowship Program and the launch of the Archie Motley Archival Internship Program.

Prior to moving to BMRC in 2015, she was director of library and archives and assistant librarian at the Union League Club of Chicago, where she set direction for and oversaw three integrated departments for a user-center archives, library and business information center.  While at the Union League Club, she worked closely with the Library and Archives Committees; she also organized and facilitated the second annual National Conference for Club Librarians and Archivists. 

In addition, Mechler worked for the Chicago Public Library as cybernavigator (electronic resources librarian) at the Humboldt Park Branch (2008-2011) and as librarian/technology facilitator at the YOUmedia Teen Center (2009).  She also worked briefly as an adult reference librarian at the Eisenhower Public Library (Norridge, Illinois).

She has a bachelor's in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Loyola University Chicago and an MSLIS, with Rare Books and Manuscripts Certification, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  During her time at UIUC, she was a community informatics fellow at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago.  She has earned multiple certifications.

Mechler is active professionally with the Society of American Archivists and Chicago Area Archivists. She was newsletter editor for Archives and Archivists of Color Section (2016-2017).  She has also been a member of the American Library Association.  In applying for this position, she noted, “it is important to me to continually learn about my field’s best practices, to be a mentor for future colleagues, and to engage on important projects with current colleagues.”

She will start, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. 

Sincere appreciation for a smooth and productive search goes to the search committee: Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA immediate past president; Crystle MartinYALSA president; Todd Krueger, YALSA president-elect; Aimee Strittmatter, ALA, executive director, Association for Library Service to Children; Beatrice Calvin, ALA, manager, professional development, Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment; Dan Hoppe, ALA associate executive director, Human Resources; and Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director.