For immediate release | February 25, 2016

ALA gears up for 2016 election

CHICAGO – The American Library Association is gearing up for its upcoming election. Polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 15, 2016 for the American Library Association’s annual election and will close on Friday, April 22 at 11:59 p.m. Central time.

For the eighth year in a row, the American Library Association is holding its election exclusively online. On February 25, members began receiving notification by email confirming their eligibility to vote. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing as of January 31, 2016.

When the polls open, the ALA will notify voters by e-mail, providing them with information about how to vote online. E-mails will be sent over a three-day period, March 15 – 17.

On April 29, the Election Committee will meet at the ALA offices to certify the election. Election results will be released following that meeting.

Although the election is being conducted online, there remains one exception. Members with disabilities and without Internet access may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. Those without Internet access at home or work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library.

This year members are asked to vote for the next ALA president-elect, treasurer, and for 34 Councilor-at-Large candidates to serve a three-year term (2016-2019).

“Voting is one of the most important things you do as a member of the American Library Association,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “The officers you elect will make a real difference. The president serves as the public voice of the Association, libraries of all types and all across the nation, and of American libraries around the world. The treasurer helps chart the financial future of the Association, and the 186 councilors are responsible for setting the broad policies that shape our Association’s public positions and direction.”

Presidential Candidates

Christine Lind Hage, Christine Lind Hage, director of the Rochester Hills (Michigan) Public Library, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Professor and Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , and James (Jim) Neal, university librarian emeritus at Columbia University, New York, are the candidates for the 2017-18 presidency of the ALA.

Hage has been an ALA member since 1971. She is the immediate past president of United for Libraries (formerly the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations – ALTAFF) and served as the 1998-99 president of the Public Library Association (PLA). She has served on numerous committees throughout ALA, PLA and ALTA/ALTAFF, including several terms as both at-large councilor (1999-2002) and PLA division councilor (2002-05, 2008-14).

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Oakland University and an AMLS from the University of Michigan. Hage is the author/co-author of several books, including A Library Board’s Practical Guide to Hiring Outside Experts, ALA/ALTA, 2008; A Library Board’s Practical Guide to Finding the Right Library Director, ALA, 2005; and Public Library Start-Up Guide, ALA, 2004.

In addition to her service to ALA, Hage was named the 1997 Librarian of the Year by the Michigan Library Association of which she has been an active member since 1971. Hage is also active at the local level and served as the 2008-09 president of the Rochester (Michigan) Rotary and is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. She is on the board of Rochester Area Neighborhood House, a local social service agency.

“I only belong to organizations whose work I truly believe in and when I belong, I take an active and leadership role in the organization. I believe in being an embedded librarian in any organization I join,” said Hage.

Hage has worked at all levels of public library service and successfully completed six library construction projects. She started the Clinton-Macomb Public Library from scratch by hiring the staff, developing public and service policies and building three buildings.

Hinchliffe has been an ALA member since 1993 and served as the 2010-11 President of the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

She has held numerous other positions within ACRL, as well a serving on various ALA and division committees, including the International Relations Committee, School Library Implementation Task Force and the Digital Literacy Task Force for the Office for Information Technology Policy. She also served on the National Expert Panel for the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services’ Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming Initiative.

“I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for President of ALA. I joined ALA as an MLS student and have been a continuous member since that time,” said Hinchliffe. “I have learned so much from so many colleagues in the association. It would be a privilege to give back to the profession by serving in this role.

“As ALA President, my goal will be to enable all ALA members to benefit from their connection with the association in order to better serve their communities and strengthen our libraries. Together, we can improve and transform people’s lives and our society.”

In her role as ACRL president, Hinchliffe’s initiative on the Value of Academic Libraries catalyzed a national conversation and has positioned libraries as leaders in higher education on assessment of student learning and success. It generated multiple open access reports and resources and garnered two IMLS grants.

Hinchliffe is the recipient of the 2015 ACRL Instruction Section Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award as well as the 2009 ACRL Special Presidential Recognition Award for Information Literacy Immersion Program. She was also awarded the University of Illinois GSLIS Library School Alumni Association Leadership Award in 2003 and the University of Illinois GSLIS Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Professional Promise Award in 1995.

Hinchliffe holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, an MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and an EdM in Educational Psychology, also from the University of Illinois.

Neal served as the vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University from 2001-14. He holds an MSLS and an MA in history from Columbia and a BA in Russian studies from Rutgers University. He also holds a certificate in advanced librarianship from Columbia.

An ALA member since 1976, Neal has held numerous leadership positions throughout ALA and its divisions. He is currently completing his second term on the ALA executive board as an at-large member and served as the 2010-13 ALA treasurer. He has also served as a member-at-large on ALA council, 1994-2001. His ALA committee service includes the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), Endowment Trustees, and various others. Neal’s division experience includes serving as president of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) 1992-93, as well as multiple committees within the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL), including chair of the 2017 national conference in Baltimore.

Neal is currently a member of the board of trustees of the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) and has also served on the board and as president of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). He has chaired the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and is the current treasurer of the Freedom to Read Foundation as well as the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). He is also an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Neal was named the 1997 Academic Librarian of the Year by ACRL and was the 2007 recipient of ALA’s Hugh Atkinson Memorial Award and the 2009 ALA Melvil Dewey Medal Award. The University of Alberta presented Neal with the honorary doctor of laws degree in 2010. In 2015 he received the ALA Joseph W. Lippincott Award for “distinguished service to the profession of librarianship,” and was added to the Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor also in 2015.

Neal is a frequent speaker, consultant and published author in areas such as scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital libraries, and library cooperation.

“Libraries and library workers are fundamental to the vitality and success of communities, schools, colleges and organizations of all types,” said Neal. “Access to information, supportive services and information policies in the public interest are the key ingredients. ALA is spearheading the charge through advocacy and education. I will bring strong leadership and extensive professional experience to the ALA presidency.”

Treasurer Candidate

Susan H. Hildreth, executive director of the Califa Group, Pacific Library Partnership, Peninsula Library System and administrator of the NorthNet Library System in San Mateo, California, is the candidate for treasurer of the American Library Association (ALA) for 2016-2019.

A member of ALA since 1973, Hildreth is past president of the Public Library Association (PLA) and has served as a member of the PLA Board of Directors and an at-large member of the ALA Council. She is a member of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies. She also was active in the LAMA (now LLAMA) Buildings and Equipment Section. She is a long-time member of the California Library Association, for which she served as president and treasurer. She was also active in the New Jersey Library Association in the 1970s.

Hildreth has recently concluded her four-year appointment as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), where she oversaw grant programs and initiatives that have resulted in $857,241,000 in financial support for libraries and museums and increased the visibility of libraries in the federal government and nationally. Previous positions include Seattle City Librarian, California State Librarian, City Librarian of San Francisco and Deputy Director of the Sacramento Public Library where she was responsible for multi-million dollar budgets.

In March 2015, the Aspen Institute appointed Hildreth a Communication and Society Program Fellow where she will provide counsel on issues related to public libraries and will represent the Institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries as a speaker at outside events. She is a member of the CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California) Board representing public libraries. She is also a member of the national Reach Out and Read Board, the Library of Congress American Folklife Center and Literacy Awards Boards, the Syracuse University Library Advisory Board and the San Jose State University School of Information International Advisory Council. She was a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation Board from 2009-11.

In 2012, she received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the College of Computing and Information Science at the University at Albany. In 2014, she was recognized as a California Emerging Technology Fund Champion and as the Small and Rural Library Champion by the Association of Small and Rural Libraries.

“I am honored to be a candidate for this important ALA leadership position,” Hildreth said. “I have seen first-hand the significant impact that ALA creates for our profession and for libraries both nationally and globally. I hope that I can contribute to the successful continuation and further strengthening of this work by providing fiscal guidance and strategic thinking at a critical time in the life of the organization.”

Hildreth holds a BA from Syracuse University, an MLS from the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany and an MBA from Rutgers University.

Watch excerpts of the Presidential and Treasurer Candidates’ Forum that took place at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Biographical information about the Councilor-at-Large candidates can be found on the ALA website.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the election, call (800) 545-2433, ext. 5, or e-mail


JoAnne Kempf

Director, Office of ALA Governance

Office of ALA Governance