For immediate release | March 18, 2014

Cooper and Oehlke stand for 2015-2016 PLA President

CHICAGO — Elections for the Public Library Association (PLA), as well as those for the American Library Association (ALA) and its other divisions, open on the morning of March 19 and remain open through 11:59 p.m. CT, April 25. This year in the PLA election, eight candidates are standing for four positions, including PLA president, ALA Division Councilor and two directors-at-large.

The positions and candidates are as follows:

PLA President (2015-2016) The PLA president will be elected for a three-year term, serving one year each as president-elect, president and past-president.

  • James Cooper, director, Salt Lake County (Utah) Library Services
  • Vailey Oehlke, director of libraries, Multnomah County (Ore.) Library

ALA Division Councilor This individual serves as PLA representative on the ALA Council. It is a three-year term.

  • Paula Brehm-Heeger, service operations manager, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio
  • Rivkah Sass, director, Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library

Directors-at-Large Two PLA members will be elected to the board of directors for three-year terms.

  • Rita Hamilton, city librarian, Phoenix (Ariz.) Public Library
  • Melanie Huggins, executive director, Richland Library, Columbia, S.C.
  • Nancy Ledeboer, library director, Spokane County (Wash.) Library District
  • Manya Shorr, assistant director, community programs and services, Omaha (Neb.) Public Library

To learn more about ALA Presidential Candidates Maggie Farrell, dean of libraries, University of Wyoming, and Sari Feldman, director, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, visit

Eligible members will be sent their voting credentials via email between March 19-21, 2014. 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 as of Jan. 31, 2014. The polls close on Friday, April 25 at 11:59 p.m. Central. In early May, the Election Committee will meet at the ALA offices to certify the election. Election results will be released following that meeting.

For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.


Amy Sargent

Marketing and Communications Manager