Candidate for ALA Division Councilor
James D. Cooper
James Cooper has had the privilege of serving as the director of Salt Lake County (Utah) Library Services for the past 15 years. The system serves more than 850,000 residents with 22 libraries and 580 staff. More than 4.25 million people visit the facilities each year and circulation will reach 14 million in 2016. While materials remain their primary brand, during Cooper’s tenure the library has pioneered library services inside jails and health clinics, expanded services for refugees, focused on education and lifelong learning, as well as life skill development for at-risk youth and special needs populations. Cooper is committed to sustainability, and has overseen planning and construction of 11 libraries including six new LEED-certified including the County Library’s 25,000 square-foot Viridian Event Center and amphitheater which has quickly become a popular library-centered event, meeting, and program venue for his community.
“Most public libraries are running at warp speed to keep up with shifting landscapes on limited budgets—often without acknowledgment let alone accolades. Our association is and should continue to be a safe place to challenge and support each other with innovative thought, best practices, embracing change, and to celebrate peer successes. We are at a pivotal time when we must utilize every available opportunity to sell our successes and broaden our base. I will work with our membership towards that goal.”