For immediate release | May 22, 2012

ASCLA elects Sara G. Laughlin, public library director, to division vice-president/president-elect role

CHICAGO — Sara Gaar Laughlin, director of the Monroe County (Ind.) Public Library and longtime member of ALA and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), will serve as the next vice-president/president-elect of ASCLA, the division of ALA that serves consultants, special populations librarians, state library agencies and library networks, cooperatives and consortia, while promoting universal access to libraries and library services.

In her new leadership role, Laughlin hopes to provide strong and creative leadership that will tap into ASCLA members’ deep commitment to the library mission, as well as their strong expertise and broad professional networks—three unique attributes of ASCLA members that will help the division evolve in the face of rapid changes in publishing, technology and funding.

Laughlin joined ASCLA more than three decades ago when she took on a coordinator position at the Stone Hills Library Network. She has served both the library profession and the division in a broad variety of capacities: as a member of the Independent Librarians’ Exchange (ILEX) Executive Committee—now Library Consultants Interest Group; as section chair for the Interlibrary Cooperation and Networking (ICAN) Section; and as longtime editor of Interface (2001-08), ASCLA’s newsletter. She has also presented many programs and preconferences, including partnering with ASCLA consulting colleagues to produce the sold-out “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit” preconference, which was offered in 2010 and 2011. For her service, she received the 2004 ASCLA Service Award. She has also served as president of the Indiana Library Federation and the Friends of Indiana Libraries.

Laughlin received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. She co-authored two books with ALA: “Quality Library: A Guide to Staff-driver Improvement, Better Efficiency, and Happier Customers” (2008) and “Library's Continuous Improvement Fieldbook: 29 Ready-to-Use Tools” (2003).

Prior to her current position at Monroe County Public Library, she served on the library’s Board of Trustees. Her prior professional experience includes serving as president of Sara Laughlin & Associates, Inc. from 1997-2007. She earned both an MLS and MA in Art History from Indiana University and a BA in History from the University of Cincinnati.

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a diverse organization of librarians and support staff who work in academic and public libraries, state agencies, specialized libraries and cooperatives, as well as those who are self-employed. Our division’s work centers on member-driven interest groups that represent the diversity and important work of our engaged and active members. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in forming new interest groups, receiving discounted registration rates on ASCLA preconferences and online courses, and other important membership benefits? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at


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