2019 PLA Election

Polls Now Open!

One of the benefits of being a PLA member is using the power of your vote to guide the direction of the organization. In the 2019 PLA election, six nominees will stand for three positions—PLA President and two Directors-at-Large. These are crucial leadership roles that will guide PLA into the next several years, ensuring that PLA delivers on its core purpose to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. PLA thanks the 2019 Nominating Committee, chaired by Felton Thomas, Jr. of the Cleveland (OH) Public Library, for its work. This year members will also vote on a ballot measure which proposes adding an eleventh member, to serve as Fiscal Officer, to the PLA Board.

Get to know your candidates and invest in the future of PLA and public libraries by being a part of the 2019 election. Look below for the candidates and click on each name/photo to learn more. Information about candidates for ALA President and ALA Council is also included below.

Voting for the 2019 election begins on March 11, 2019 and close at 11:59 PM on April 3, 2019. Results will be announced on April 10, 2019. Eligible members will be sent their voting credentials via email between March 11–13, 2019. Any individuals whose emails bounce will be sent a “snail-mail” letter with their voting credentials. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing of ALA as well as applicable divisions and round tables as of January 31, 2019. Anyone who reinstates their membership after January 31, 2019 will be ineligible to vote in the 2019 elections. For questions about your membership status, please contact ALA’s Member and Customer Service (MACS) at 1-800-545-2433, press 5 (International members should call +1-312-944-6780) or customerservice@ala.org.

Candidates for PLA President (2020–2021)

The PLA President will be elected for a three-year term beginning after 2019 ALA Annual Conference and completed at 2022 ALA Annual Conference, serving one year each as President-Elect (2019–2020), President (2020–2021), and Past-President (2021–2022).

Candidate for PLA President (2020–2021) Michelle JeskeMichelle Jeske
City Librarian/Executive Director
Denver (CO) Public Library

Candidate for PLA President (2020–2021) Manya ShorrManya Shorr
Library Director
Fort Worth (TX) Public Library

Candidates for Directors-at-Large

There are two available seats for Directors-at-Large, each a three-year term beginning after 2019 ALA Annual Conference and completed at 2022 ALA Annual Conference. Voting PLA members will select one candidate for each seat.

Seat A

Candidate for Director-at-Large Amita LonialAmita Lonial
Assistant Library Director
Tacoma (WA) Public Library

Candidate for Director-at-Large Meaghan O'ConnorMeaghan O'Connor
Director, Service Design & Engagement
District of Columbia Public Library


Seat B

Candidate for Director-at-Large Toby GreenwaltToby Greenwalt
Director of Digital Strategy
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Candidate for Director-at-Large Jason KucsmaJason Kucsma
Deputy Director
Toledo (OH) Lucas County Public Library

Ballot Measure

At its fall 2018 meeting, the PLA Board of Directors authorized the addition of a measure to appear on the 2019 PLA Election ballot. The measure proposes the creation of a new position, of Fiscal Officer, thereby increasing the size of the Board from ten directors to eleven. Because the creation of this position would alter the organization’s bylaws, it requires approval by the membership at large.

Why is this measure being proposed?

PLA leadership has recommended the creation of a Fiscal Officer position for the following reasons:

  1. To increase financial oversight in light of PLA’s ongoing fundraising efforts,
  2. To exploit financial opportunities and responsibilities afforded by new grants,
  3. To manage PLA’s financial relationship with the American Library Association (ALA) including oversight of PLA’s financial contributions to ALA.

Why add an eleventh member to the board?

The current board configuration of ten board members has served PLA well since 2008, when PLA reorganized and reduced the size of its board from 22. PLA is similar in this regard to many associations and non-profits that have trended toward smaller boards. A recent report by BoardSource, Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices (PDF, 57 pgs.), notes (page 17) that “the average board size has decreased over the past 20 years” but that while the size of the board impacts how it works, there is no “right” size for a board. PLA leadership believes that eleven members is the right size for the organization’s board of directors for 2019 and beyond.

What will happen if the measure is approved?

With approval by the majority of voting members, the first fiscal officer will be appointed by the PLA immediate Past President to a three-year term beginning July 2019. The Fiscal Officer will join the board of directors at that time and will serve as chair of the PLA Budget & Finance Committee and as liaison to the American Library Association (ALA) Budget and Review Committee.

What changes to the PLA Bylaws are being proposed?

To incorporate the addition of a Fiscal Officer on the PLA Board of Directors, minor edits would need to be made to the four sections of the PLA Bylaws: Article IV, Section 2; Article V, Section 1; Article VI, Sections 1; and Article VI, Section 5. The proposed changes are indicated below with bolded italic text.

Article IV. Officers and Duties
Sec. 2. Duties of the Officers
Subsection C. Past President.

Current:
The past president will serve as a member of the Board of Directors and as an ex-officio member of the Budget & Finance Committee.

Proposed:
The past president will serve as a member of the Board of Directors and as an ex-officio member of the Budget & Finance Committee. In every third year, at the expiration of the prior officer’s term, the immediate Past President will appoint a new Fiscal Officer to the board.

Article V. Directors
Sec. 1.

Current:
The Board of Directors of the Association will consist of the following that have one vote: the Association's elected officers, the ALA division councilor of PLA, and six (6) members at large. The PLA Executive Director will be a non-voting member of the Board.

Proposed:
The Board of Directors of the Association will consist of the following that have one vote: the Association's elected officers, the ALA division councilor of PLA, the Fiscal Officer, and six (6) members at large. The PLA Executive Director will be a non-voting member of the Board.

Article VI. Terms of Office
Sec. 1.

Current:
The president elect will be elected for a three-year term and serves one year of that term as president elect, one year as president, and one year as immediate past president.  The ALA division councilor of the PLA will be elected for a term of three years. Six (6) members at large will serve staggered terms of three years each; two members are elected each year.

Proposed:
The president elect will be elected for a three-year term and serves one year of that term as president elect, one year as president, and one year as immediate past president.  The ALA division councilor of the PLA will be elected for a term of three years. Six (6) members at large will serve staggered terms of three years each; two members are elected each year.  Every third spring, the immediate Past President will appoint a Fiscal Officer to serve a three-year term beginning on July 1 of that same year.

Article VI. Terms of Office
Sec. 5.

Current:
The PLA Board of Directors will elect a person from among the membership of the Association to fill and complete the terms of vacated offices of elected directors, except that the ALA division councilor of PLA must be replaced in accordance with ALA bylaws.

Proposed:
The PLA Board of Directors will elect a person from among the membership of the Association to fill and complete the terms of vacated offices of elected directors, except that the ALA division councilor of PLA must be replaced in accordance with ALA bylaws and the Fiscal Officer, who will be appointed by the immediate Past President.


ALA Election

Candidates for ALA President (2020–2021) and ALA Council

Learn more about the ALA Elections and the candidates for ALA President (2020–2021), Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. and Lance Werner; and the candidates for ALA Treasurer, Andrew Pace and Maggie Farrell. A list of PLA members running for ALA Council is provided for informational purposes.