For immediate release | May 14, 2013

Karen Williams elected ACRL vice-president/president-elect

CHICAGO — Karen Williams, associate university librarian for research and learning at the University of Minnesota, has been elected ACRL vice-president/president-elect. She will become president-elect following the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, and assume the presidency in July 2014 for a one-year term.

Julia Gelfand, applied sciences and engineering librarian at the University of California-Irvine, and Susan Barnes Whyte, director of library and media services at Linfield College, have been elected to the ACRL Board of Directors as directors-at-large. Douglas Lehman, director of the Wittenberg University Thomas Library, has been elected ACRL Councilor.

“I am tremendously excited to have this leadership role and the opportunity to help advance association initiatives that will benefit our members and their libraries,” Williams said. “ACRL has done a superb job of identifying key issues for our collective focused attention and serves as a catalyst for action in a number of arenas. In my experience, ACRL members are a passionate, creative and spirited bunch. They provide tremendous inspiration for the ACRL Plan for Excellence; are the heart of the ACRL Conference; and their research and writing capture and share our best thinking and best practices through ACRL publications. I look forward to three wonderful years and the chance to get to know many more of you along the way.”

Williams’ activities in ACRL include serving as a member of the ACRL Board of Directors (2005–2009), member and chair of the ACRL Leadership Nominations and Recruitment Committee (2009–10, 2010–11), co-chair of the ACRL 2011 Invited Papers Committee (2010–11) and member of the ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee (2005–09). She is a faculty member in the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program (1999-present) and previously served as an ACRL/ARL Scholarly Communication Institute faculty member (2006–07). Williams has also served on the College & Research Libraries Editorial Board (2007–09), Publications in Librarianship Editorial Board (2002–05), Hugh T. Atkinson Memorial Award Committee (2002–05), Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Nominating Committee (2001–04), Information Literacy Advisory Council (2000–01), Institute for Information Literacy Steering Committee (1998–2002) and Professional Education Committee (1984–87). She has additionally held a variety of appointments in the association’s Instruction Section.

“ACRL is delighted to have Karen Williams join the Board as vice-president/president-elect,” ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen Davis said. “Karen has a long history of service to ACRL and has made many valuable contributions to the association through her tireless work on information literacy and scholarly communication issues along with her service as a past member of the Board of Directors. Her knowledge of ACRL academic librarianship and higher education will be an asset to the Board as it continues to work with members to meet their needs and to advance the Plan for Excellence”

Williams’ work with state and regional associations includes serving as chair of the Association of Research Libraries Learning Outcomes Working Group (2003–05), member of the OCLC E-Learning Task Force (2003) and president of the Arizona Library Association College and University Libraries Division (1993–94).

She received the ACRL Special Presidential Recognition Award given to founding members of the Institute for Information Literacy and Immersion Program faculty in 2009. She was involved in the CIC Academic Leadership Program in 2005–06 and the UCLA Senior Fellows Program in 2001. Williams also won the University of Arizona Award for Excellence in 2001.

Her publications include coeditor of “The Expert Library: Staffing, Sustaining, and Advancing the Academic Library in the 21st Century” (ACRL, 2010); author of “A Framework for Articulating New Library Roles,” Research Library Issues (2009) and author of “Every Librarian a Leader,” in “Information Literacy Instruction Handbook” (ALA, 2008).

Williams earned her AMLS from the University of Michigan and received her BA in English, along with a certificate in secondary education, from the University of Michigan-Flint.

For full ACRL election results, visit the ACRL website.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free

Mktg & Comm. Specialist/Editor-in-Chief

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)

1-800-545-2433 ext.2517