President's Page

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Patricia (Patty) Wong

Patricia (Patty) Wong is the first Asian American to serve as president of the American Library Association (ALA). Her term began July 2021 and closes at the adjournment of the 2022 Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

An active ALA member for 37 years, Wong has served several terms as at-large councilor (1996–2007, 2012–2014) and as California Chapter councilor (2015–2017). Wong previously served as the Executive Board member from 2001-05. She has held numerous committee positions, including chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee. She is an active member of Association of Library Service to Children, Public Library Association, United for Libraries, Young Adult Library Services Association, the Social Responsibilities Round Table, Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table and the Rainbow Round Table. She is a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation and, as an ALA Executive Board member, has worked with the association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, Committee on Legislation and the Conference Committee.

She is a member of several ALA professional affiliates, including the American Indian Library Association, Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of ALA, Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.

In addition to her service to ALA, Wong currently serves as a board member for the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (2014-present). She has served as a board member of the California Library Association (2015-17), president of APALA (1999), treasurer of United States Board on Books for Young People (1995-98), board member of CALA (1991-93) and president of CALA, California Chapter (1993). 

Wong is the City Librarian for the Santa Monica Public Library, in service since March 2017. In her 34-year career she has held positions throughout CA at Yolo County Library, Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, Oakland Public Library and Berkeley Public Library, and Oakland Unified School District and has been a bookseller during her student life. Her work in managing change, equity and diversity, youth development, developing joint ventures and collaborations between public libraries and community agencies, and fundraising has been published in a number of journals, conference proceedings and edited collections.
Ms. Wong has worked as a school librarian, children’s librarian, cataloger, and special librarian as well as her leadership roles in public libraries. She provides continuing education for practitioners at national and regional conferences.

Ms. Wong is also adjunct faculty for the iSchool at San Jose State University where she has taught hundreds of students since 2004 to serve young people and write grants to benefit local and regional communities and make the world a better place.

Wong also is the recipient of several awards, including the 2012 ALA Equality Award, CALA Distinguished Service Award (2014), and Member of the Year, California Library Association (2012).

She holds a BA in Women’s Studies and an MLIS, both from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Patty Wong's Inauguration Recipe Book 2021

Past Presidents