Candidate for Director-at-Large
Rita Hamilton has been the city librarian leading the Phoenix (Ariz.) Public Library since 2011, previously working there 2000–2002, as operations manager of twelve branch libraries. She has been in public libraries for over thirty-five years, working as a librarian and manager at the Tucson (Ariz.) Public Library and as technical services manager and assistant director at the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library where she implemented the library’s first online system and served as project manager for a $115 million capital project directing development and construction of a new main library and five new branches. She also served as director of the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library where she focused on service to teens, early literacy programs, and building two new, award-winning branch libraries, the Arabian and Appaloosa Libraries.
Rita has been a member of ALA since 1990 and active in PLA since 1994, serving on a number of committees and previously sitting on the PLA Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006. She attended Western Michigan University and received a master’s degree from the University of Arizona. She is also a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership and has served on the board of directors of several arts organizations and non-profit agencies including the Arizona Humanities Council. She enjoys fine design and fine dining, live acoustic music, hiking, reading, and travel.
“I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of the current PLA leadership because it is an exciting and challenging time to be a library champion. I think the work that public libraries do to improve our communities is more important than ever. As we continually adapt our services to the needs we find around us, I see many opportunities for growth and much support for our mission. I am passionate about the work we do to support early literacy and I appreciate PLA's leadership in this important area. PLA has been a dynamic force for the growth and support of public libraries, and I would be proud to focus on providing innovative solutions to continue PLA's great work.”